How to win money betting on Boxing

Boxing may be about two men standing in the ring, but there is a lot of points if it comes to betting on a struggle. Jack Houghton clarifies…

Formats and Tournaments
With the virtual disappearance of all top-flight competitions from terrestrial television in the mid-1990s, boxing turned into a niche betting sport, with many British bookmakers simply pricing up a restricted number of markets on high-profile events involving the likes of Naseem Hamed, Joe Calzaghe and Lennox Lewis.

However, in the past few decades, with the continued success of British boxers like Ricky Hatton, Amir Khan, David Haye, Carl Froch and Ricky Hatton; the wide access to the very best global pay-per-view spells; and also the success of tournament formats like the Super Six and the Betfair Prizefighter series; boxing betting volumes have jumped, and the would-be boxing punter hasn’t had so much opportunity and decision.

With that opportunity, though, comes risk. With so much on offer, it’s easy to bet on spells where your understanding and insight is lacking, which is why, more than ever, the well-informed, educated and informed boxing punter will enjoy a substantial advantage in markets which are still often dominated by hype and hyperbole over a rational evaluation of boxing chance.


Most Popular Markets
Match Odds
Round Betting
Method of Victory
Go the Distance?
Tournament Win Markets

Golden Rules
Search for the worth, not the winner
Much like betting, long-term boxing adulthood can mean eschewing gains. Backing fighters at 1.12 will likely indicate that you win a lot of bets, but within a period of months, if those 1.12-shots should have no more prices, you will discover you’ve lost money. Until you have decided on your head what those odds should 30, to avoid this situation, it is best to ignore the odds on offer in the markets. The very best approach to do so is to consider proportions: what chance does every outcome have of occurring?

For example, when Amir Khan fought Carlos Molina in Los Angeles in an attempt to re-establish his floundering career, it may have been fair to state that Khan should had an 80% chance of winning this struggle: he had a brand new coach that had worked on his defensive skills and consistency, had struggled better opponents, had been more established at the weight class, and Molina, though unbeaten, hadn’t shown himself especially adept at quitting his rivals. Molina, in contrast had a chance of winning, although the draw needed a 5% likelihood.

Converting these percentages into odds is straightforward. Dividing one by 0.80 (80%) gives you chances on Khan winning of 1.25, dividing one by 0.15 gives you odds on Molina winning of 6.70, and dividing one by 0.05 gives you chances on the draw of 20.0. Armed with all the odds you think the many different outcomes should be, it is time to check at the markets. In our scenario, Khan was a considerably shorter price – about 1.10 – which meant the value-savvy punter would have put khan, backed Molina, or left the market alone. As it happened, Khan won the fight with a disciplined performance, but taking this approach is far more likely to bring long-term profits than always backing the fighter you believe will win in the possibilities available.

Don’t overestimate recent form

Humans tend to overplay the importance of recent events. To borrow the example of economist Ha-Joon Chang, ask most people which invention is more important, the washing machine or the world wide web, and the majority will plump for the latter (Betfair punters particularly, no doubt), even though there is a strong argument to say that the access to cheap household appliances from Western societies meant that women had the time to find paid employment: that has had a far more significant effect on society than our ability to place bets on our smart-phones.

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