We’ve stated in other articles how tricky betting on boxing can be. The problem that we have is that the odds for a lot of the fights are very slim if you are simply picking the winner. It’s not uncommon to see a full line up of fights from one night’s fight card to have an odds on favourite for all fights.
For most punters, the only way to get a bit of value from these types of bets is to mix things up a little so you need to get creative and you can do that with method of victory markets.
These markets are little more detailed than simply picking a winner. Instead, you are looking to find a winner and then also determine how they are going to win the fight. It’s not always an easy market, but it will offer better value than most outright winner markets. Plus, there is plenty of strategy that you can apply to picking a method of victory for each fight, which we dive into later in this article.
What methods of victory are there?
There are actually quite a few methods that bookmakers can include. But they likely won’t include all of these for each fight. Some bookies also link multiple methods into one bet; for example, any decision bets can also be linked to a points victory. Here is a list of the different methods that can be found:
- Knockout (KO) – The knockout is the most common choice for most bettors, and this is where the fighter has been knocked down and is unable to get back up before the referee stops the fight.
- Technical Knockout (TKO) – A technical knockout is where a fighter has been knocked down and then starts to take a standing 10 count. The fighter is able to get back to their feet, but the referee decides that they are unfit to carry on and stops the fight. This may also happen if the boxer is taking too much punishment and has stopped defending themselves before the referee steps in.
- Opponent Retired (RTD) – This is where the boxer has returned to their corner at the end of the round and then their team has decided that they are not fit to continue. The referee may also step in here if they see they are not in good shape.
- Unanimous decisions (UD) – This is where the fight has gone to points and all three judges declare the same result. They don’t necessarily have to have to same points for each fighter, but they do need to see the same outcome.
- Split Decision (SD) – A split decisions is where two of the three judges state that one boxer has won and then the other judge states the other boxer has won. The winner is always the fighter with the most points from 2 or more of the judges.
- Majority Decision (MD) – The majority decision is where two judges both score the same fighter to win and then the other judge scores the fight as a draw.
- Technical Decision (TD) – A Technical decision is often when the fight has been stopped at some point because of an injury or an accidental collision. A headbutt is common occurrence and then the fighter may be unable to continue because of it. If this happens, then assuming that a certain number of rounds have been completed (as outlined by competition rules) the fight will be decided on the points from the judge’s scorecard prior to that point. However, if not enough rounds have been completed then the fight will be a Technical Draw.
- Opponent Disqualified (DQ) – This is where one of the fighters has been disqualified from the fight. There are a number of reasons why this might be, but it’s usually due to repeated violation of the rules – Mike Tyson biting Evander Holyfield’s ear off is an obvious example. The fighter disqualified loses the fight, but if both fighters are disqualified then it will be declared as a no contest.
Not all bookies will offer all of these options for their betting markets. If you don’t see the more specific options you can assume that that result is contained within a broader market. For example, they might just have “to win on points” which would include Unanimous decision, Split decision and Majority Decision as these are all points based.
A lot of bookies will also include disqualification and retirement as a KO or TKO for betting purposes as well. Another common one is when fighters fail to make the bell then this is counted as a TKO. It’s important that you check the terms for the bookmaker that you are betting with prior to placing the wager so you know where you stand with each decision.
Method of victory betting for boxing can actually work with a pretty basic, yet informed strategy process. The firsts part is picking the winner of the fight, but then you must use your research to determine the most likely outcome. Here are a few things that you can include:
Heavyweights have more knockouts
The heavyweight category has a higher percentage of fights won by KO or TKO than any other weight. On average around 74% of heavyweight fights finish in a knockout. You compare this to the lightest weight, Strawweight, and just 49% of those fights are KO or TKO. It makes sense really, bigger boxers throw harder punches.
Whilst it isn’t guaranteed that these fights will end in a knockout, it’s a really strong place to start. Given the vast number of boxing matches that seem to take place these days, narrowing it down by weight divisions will drastically reduce your research time and allow you to become a real expert in that field for upcoming fights.
By trying to evaluate all weights, you are going to leave yourself short of time and you are likely going to miss value when it’s available as a result.
You need to get a feel for how fighters like to finish their fights. There are some that are made for knockouts, but there are plenty that love taking fights the distance and going to points. A combination of a good chin and a slight lack of power suits longer-form fighters.
Edwin Valero may or may not be a boxer you have heard of, but the Venezuelan is one of the best Super Featherweight and Lightweight world champions ever. He finished his career with 27 wins from 27 fights.
What was most impressive about Valero was that in every single fight that he fought he knocked his opponent out. That’s 27 fights and 27 knockouts for a 100% strike rate and the best you can get at any level, he was only stopped from increasing this tally by his untimely death in 2010. From a betting point of view, it’s obvious the method of victory that you would have chosen for Valero.
The flip side of the coin was that of Cesar Cuenca from Argentina. Cuenca was a Super Lightweight and had an illustrious career with 48 wins from 53 fights, that’s just 3 losses. However, what was remarkable about his career was that he had only 2 wins by way of knockout, with 46 wins coming from points decisions. It’s thought that he has the lowest knockout rate of any boxing World Champion with over 20 fights to their name.
Again, you can see where your betting trend would come from a fighter like this and you could almost instantly rule out a KO or TKO to make your decision so much easier.
Often fighters come into fights with beef that has been building up in the days or weeks prior to that fight. They like to bad mouth each other and try and get in their opponent’s heads, all in an attempt to get ahead come fight night. Usually, the pair shake hands after the fight and then move on.
There are times where two boxers genuinely despise each other though, and it’s these fights where you need to throw caution to the wind with knockouts and TKO’s. Heart often overcomes head in these situations and game plans can fly out the window as punches are thrown in real anger.
These types of fights can be hard to call given how unpredictable each fighter can become. Regardless of past fights, regardless of styles, and regardless of form coming into these fights, hatred and beef between fighters can have a huge impact on how a fight might go down.