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How to Bet on Boxing

How to Bet on Boxing
by Scott L of

Betting on boxing provides an appealing wagering situation for potential sports bettors. There is a beautiful simplicity to it—you have two guys fighting each other and you pick the winner. There is a sense of purity to it. It’s man against man. Not team against team. It’s easier to handicap. You only have to break down two fighters, not an entire roster of players. Even before the sport became what it is today, people were betting on it. Before there was baseball or football, people were wagering on fisticuffs brawls and scuffles in one form or another.


You could compare the style of boxing betting to baseball. You have two sides each with a corresponding “money line.” For example, if the much ballyhooed Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather fight were to take place, the betting line would be something like Manny Pacquiao: +135, Mayweather: -110. The (+) before a number always indicates the underdog, while the (-) always indicates the favorite.

Pacquiao at +135 means you will win $135 for every $100 you wager. Mayweather at –110 means you must wager $110 to win $100. You get your winnings and initial bet back if you win.

Let’s use the odds of the Paul Williams vs. Sergio Martinez fight as another example. Williams was –360, Martinez was +300. To win $100 on Williams, you would have needed to bet $360. If you won, obviously you received your bet back plus your winnings. If you bet $100 on Martinez, you stood to make $360 while receiving your initial $100 bet back as well for a total of $460.

An extreme example would be one that very few sportsbooks offered; odds on the Buster Douglas-Mike Tyson upset from 20 years ago. Tyson was –50000, Douglas at +42000. You would have had to put up 50K on Tyson to win a thousand, while a $1000 bet on Douglas would have netted a whopping 42K.


Draws are the ugly duckling result of the boxing-gambling world, the book’s delight. It really is dependent on whether a draw is included in the odds as a possible bet. If it is not, a draw results in a wash (push-tie)—everyone receives their bet back. But if odds are offered on a draw, both sides will lose if a draw indeed takes place. Odds on draws usually range between +1600 and +2500, in other words 16-1 to 25-1.

If you are making a modest wager on a fight, maybe it’s okay to disregard the draw component, but if you are placing a large wager, it’s very wise to cover your bases with a small draw wager just in case. We see enough sketchy judging in boxing to where it is more than warranted. Take the following past match as an example.

Joan Guzman –260

Ali Funeka +200

Draw +2000

The fight was scored a controversial draw. Some bettors jumped on the South African Funeka. Imagine if you bet $100 on Funeka. Even though almost everyone thought he won, you would have lost that bet. A mere $5 wager on a draw would have covered your losses. If you lose, you only lose 5% more. If you win, it easily covers your draw bet. It would have made sense. Funeka was the visiting fighter against the higher-profile Guzman, conditions ripe for a draw possibility. Cover your bases.

Prop Bets

The bigger the fight, the more betting options you will have. One prop bet that will almost always be available to you is the over-under wager. A number of rounds are set and you must simply predict whether the bout’s duration will exceed that total or not. This is a very popular wager in boxing. Sometimes a bettor feels a fight will be short or long without having a feeling of who will win the fight.

A number is designated as the over-under. Say it’s 4.5. In that event, you must simply bet if the bout will last shorter or longer than 4 and a half rounds. It is shocking how many people think this means halfway through the fourth round. 4.5 rounds are actually completed at the 1:30 mark of the fifth round.

In more notable fights, you will also be able to bet on how a fighter will win. Such a line might look something like this:

Manny Pacquiao by decision or technical decision: +150

Manny Pacquiao by DQ, TKO or KO: +200

Floyd Mayweather by decision or technical decision: +105

Floyd Mayweather by DQ, TKO or KO: +500

A technical decision is when a fight is stopped due to a cut. After four rounds, a fight-ending cut will result in the fight going to the scorecards. Before four rounds, such a cut would result in a “no-contest,” in which all bets would be returned.

If you want to get even more specific with your bets, you can. Major bouts allow you to pick the exact round you think a fighter will win. Depending on the punching power and durability of the fighters, these odds can range drastically. Nevertheless, picking the correct round will yield you a robust return on your wager.

So, now that you're in the know on how to bet on boxing, you will need a place to bet. While there are many online sportsbooks on the web, not all are created equal. Stick to one of the biggest and best. You get a huge 50% signup bonus and they take credit cards as well: MyBookie Review.

Free Boxing Picks

Each week, Big Scotty L makes picks on upcoming boxing matches in an attempt to make a punching bag out of his bookie. Scotty is a GREAT boxing handicapper who offers tremendous insight on the fights and his knowledge isn't just limited to boxing matches in the USA. He has a broad knowledge of international fights as well.

Follow Scotty each week as he previews the best fights of the week. These fight previews can be found in the center section of this page. Good luck!

Boxing Betting

Bovada Sportsbook - Bet fights using your Visa card and to get generous sign up bonus at one of the internet's best places to wager on boxing.

MyBookie - Bet on fights using your credit card at one of the web's best betting sites! They're one of the best at getting Visa cards to work for deposits. They'll also add a generous 50% welcoming bonus too!

Boxing Betting Rules - Clear cut definitions of how the sportsbooks grade fights to determine if your bet is a winner or a loser. Two big questions are "what if the fight was a draw?" and "what if I have an over/under rounds bet and the fight ends early?" We have all the answers!

Featured Articles

Best Pound for Pound Fighters - Who are the top 10 best pound for pound boxers of all time? Scotty L gives his picks.

Fight Records of Past Boxing Greats - Wins, losses, draws and Ko's of some of the best boxers to ever step foot in the ring. Sugar Ray Robinson, Cassius Clay, Rocky Marciano and more!

Famous Boxing Quotes - Funny, inspirational, and great sayings from Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and more!

Muhammad Ali Biography - The life story of the greatest fighter of all time from his childhood to his last bout at age 39.

What is a TKO? - Scotty explains what the TKO is in boxing and all the different ways that a fighter can win by the technical knockout.