The following online betting sites have been chosen as the best places to bet on boxing, based on the promotions, markets and odds they offer. All of the sites offer a free bet which can be used to bet on boxing matches.
Boxing Betting Guide
Boxing has a rich history when it comes to betting and some of the biggest wagers in the world have come from a series of boxing matches. With the sport being heavily tied to betting it’s no surprise that a range of top bookmakers offer a host of comprehensive markets. Granted the sport doesn’t run as often as your football or tennis betting markets, but when big fights are in town then the betting markets really come alive.
Unlike a lot of sports there isn’t really a highlight of the boxing calendar, more big fights over a series of weight divisions. This keeps the markets relatively fresh and also offers punters a good variety of matches to bet on. The real money comes in for the likes of Haye, Mayweather, Pacquiao and the Klitschko brothers, where it’s not uncommon to see tens of millions of pounds traded on each of their fights alone.
How To Bet On Boxing
The availability of boxing betting markets at bookmakers these days really puts the punter in the driving seat. This is because as there is so much choice with the boxing markets as you can shop around for best odds, free bets and boxing promotions they might be running.
Boxing is a sport where you can really get your teeth stuck into some of the lesser known markets. Obviously it has its main players like the outright winner market, but we have looked at a few more markets below that you can sink your teeth into.
- Overall Result – You can bet on the outcome of the match. Remember that boxing matches can end in a draw so make sure this is factored into your prediction or bet.
- Total Rounds – Betting on the total number of rounds the fight will last for will usually result in you having to pick the over or under on a line set by the bookmaker.
- Round Betting – Round betting allows you to choose which round you think a fighter will win in. In this market you can also choose if you think they will win by decision, technical decision or draw.
- Round Group Betting – Here you can choose a group of rounds in which you think one player will win in. You first need to select the correct winner and then a group of 3 rounds are usually on offer for 12 round matches. The decision, technical decision and points are one again on offer in this market.
- Fight Outcome – You can select the outcome of the fight for each boxer. Often you will get more than one option in this category such as KO, TKO or decision.
Boxing Betting Rules
Betting on boxing can be pretty complicated stuff. Things such as the timing of knockouts or even some of the decisions and how a player was beaten can all be up for dispute. Fighters are often known for pulling out of fights just before a bout, which obviously has an effect on the betting markets. Let’s look over some of the industry standard boxing betting rules.
- If a boxer is replaced for a fight then all bets on the previous boxer will become void and stakes returned.
- If the boxer postpones a fight then all bets will be returned unless the fight is held within 1 week of the scheduled date of the match.
- The official result by the International Boxing Organisation stands and all bet will be paid out according to this.
Boxing is made up of many different weight classes, which is the reason why the sport is so accessible and why people of all different shapes and sizes are able to fight and carve out successful careers; fighters take on people in the same weight class.
From a betting perspective, targeting your weight class for each fight is very important. The extreme differences from light flyweight, the lightest weight class in the sport at just 49kg; compared with the heavyweight divisions, where you often find fighters of 18 stone plus, is going to be huge.
What you’re going to find is that the lighter boxers often have more technical fights. They are more inclined to go the distance and knockouts are few and far between. The reason being is that often they just don’t have the power to knock someone out. Now, this is a bit of a sweeping statement and not true for every fighter, but compared to the likes of cruiserweight and heavyweight fights, the knockout percentage will be much lower.
Just because they are lacking in knockouts though, doesn’t mean that they are not good fights. They are, but are different to what many people wrongly associate with boxing – two huge guys slugging it out until one is KO’d. For these types of fights, you need to be a little more creative with your betting and look at fighters winning on points, or if you do venture into the knockout market then the latter rounds are probably going to work out best for you.
As you move through the divisions the switch from speed to power starts to become apparent. Fighters from the middleweight category and upwards are much stronger and heavier, weighing 20 stone+ in some cases, and with it they are much more dynamic. These fights offer a huge range of match ups, from people who are quick, explosive and dynamic; to those that have strong chins (harder to knockout) and are slightly sluggish but incredibly powerful.
Again, for these fight types you will need to alter your betting patterns. As you get to the heavier weights, people tend not to have as much stamina, so lasting 12 rounds is going to be tough. Early knockouts are much more frequent the higher the weight class, and with this in mind you should lean more towards these types of betting markets, rather than points based victories or even late stoppages.
Bookmaker Sponsorship Deals
Like most sports these days, bookmakers are keen to cash in on lucrative air time and in return gain exposure for their brand. Boxing is no different.
However, the types of deals that are thrashed out are often a little different to, say, that of football. As boxing is an individual sport, the bookies are associated with the boxers themselves, and you will often see different bookmakers in association with each individual fight.
Not unlike football, most of the higher profile boxers have some sort of ‘betting partner’; for example Anthony Joshua – the current Heavyweight Champion – is associated with Dafabet. Whilst Dafabet aren’t particularly big in the UK (although they do sponsor Sunderland AFC) the global appeal that Joshua brings these days is more than enough to make a deal like this lucrative for both parties.
One of the most interesting and bizarre sponsorship deals in recent years has to have come from the Floyd Mayweather v Connor McGregor fight. It will come as little surprise to hear that Paddy Power were behind the shenanigans, as Mayweather turned up in their now infamous (largely down to Nicklas Bendtner) green boxer shorts at the official weigh in.
The boxer shorts apparently cost Paddy Power £3,000 to make and were designed to Mayweather’s exact specifications; but it was Paddy Power actually going against one of their own in Irishman Connor McGregor that surprised most boxing fans.
However, it later turned out that several years earlier McGregor had turned down a sponsorship deal with Paddy Power in favour of Irish rivals, BoyleSports. Obviously, this beef had failed to subside, resulting in the green pants with the slogan ‘Always Bet on Black’.
As part of the deal, 48 hours before the fight had started, Paddy Power announced that they would be paying out on all bets placed on Mayweather to win. The promotion didn’t sit well with the Irish who then pilled on to McGregor, with the bookmaker reporting that over 80% of bets were for McGregor to win following the early payout, costing the bookmaker a potential £10million if he won.
As always seems to be the case for Paddy Power, they got amazing publicity from the stunt and even managed to see a Mayweather victory, saving their blushes and their wallet.
Whilst this was more of a one off for one of the highest profile fights in history, there are many other much more mainstream deals that have been cut in the past. Coral, for example, were sponsors of the entire fight between Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora back in 2015.
Moving up and Bulking out
We’ve spoken previously about the weight divisions within boxing, and for the most part a fighter will hover around the same weight class throughout their whole career. However, successful fighters and fighters that are wanting to better themselves often make a step up to a higher weight, which can lead to more lucrative deals.
From a betting perspective this should set off alarm bells straight off the bat. Let’s take a fairly recent fight between Amir Khan and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez; two top fighters in their own right, but it was Khan who was having to bulk up in order to make the minimum weight and jump from welterweight up to middleweight, some two divisions higher.
Just looking at Khan prior to the fight he looked strong, fit and bulky. Good attributes to have a for a middleweight, but Khan’s main asset in the lower weights was his blistering speed, and a lot of the weight he had put on had gone to his arms, so this made them much heavier and in turn he lost a lot of that speed.
At an elite level when you need to be at your peak, those few extra pounds can make all the difference. In this case, Khan’s speed was nullified and Canelo eventually ended up brutally knocking him out in the sixth round.
Any time a fighter moves up weights, no matter how successful they have been previously or who they are fighting at their natural weight, from a betting perspective you need to wary. As the size increases, the body isn’t able to react in the same way. Some fighters make the step from cruiserweight to heavyweight as the difference isn’t all that substantial, but in the lower weights where every pound counts, the differences can be huge.
David (Haye) vs Goliath
In one of the biggest mismatches in boxing history, 6ft 2 David Haye took on the 7ft tall Nikolay Valuev in a fight few thought he’d be able to win. Haye made the step up from cruiserweight for the fight, but also gave away 7 stone to the Russian as well.
Haye won on a majority decision, becoming the first British Heavyweight Champion since Lennox Lewis in 2003.
From a betting point of view the fight should have been a bit of a dead rubber, but Haye, 29 at the time, trained in a manner that allowed him to unleash a particular set of skills against Valuev; mainly his speed.
The point that we are trying to make is that winners in the ring can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. David can, and has, beaten Goliath, so it’s important to not only look at size, but also the technical ability and boxing nous of each fighter. Whilst many bettors get carried away with size it’s not everything, so you need to work a little harder to make a profit from these types of bets.