How to Bet on Boxing

Welterweight boxer knocked out during fight
Mike Powell/Stone/Getty Images

Boxing and betting have gone hand-in-hand for many years, perhaps a little too closely at times. In the early 1970s, betting on boxing was more popular than betting on the NFL, but allegations of fixing fights and horrendous judge's decisions turned many people away from the betting aspect of the sport. For the most part, however, boxing has done a good job of trying to regain public confidence in the integrity of the sport.

Boxing uses the money line and is pretty straight forward in regards to wagering, as the odds will be given next to each boxer's name. The odds on a hypothetical boxing match would read:

John Smith -200
Pete Brown +150
Draw +2000

Bettors who wager on Smith will have to risk $200 to win $100, while bettors who wager on Brown are asked to risk $100 to win $150. Those bettors who believe the fight will end in a draw have to risk $100 to win $2,000. It's important to note that you don't have to wager $100 to win $150, you can risk $20 to win $30, but money line odds are given in terms of $100 wagers.

On boxing bets, your fighter must win the fight or you lose your wager. If the fight is declared a draw, bets on both fighters are declared losers and the bookmakers, as well as any bettors who wagered on the draw, are extremely happy.

It's important to note that if the fight you are betting on does not have the option of betting on a draw and the fight ends in a draw, all wagers are refunded, as it is treated like a tie bet in other sports.

Boxing Proposition Bets

Because a number of fights figure to be pretty one-sided, the bookmakers will generally come up with several proposition wagers on major fights. The most popular of these is the over/under for how long the fight lasts. The wager works in the same manner as an over/under bet in other sports, but instead of betting there will be over or under a certain number of points scored, you are betting over or under a certain number of rounds taking place.

Such a betting proposition may look like this:

Over 6 full rounds -140
Under 6 full rounds 120

If you wager over the six full rounds, you will win your bet as long as both fighters are in the ring for the start of the seventh round. If you wager on the under six full rounds, you will win your wager provided the fight is stopped anytime prior to the bell signaling the end of round No. 6. If the fight is stopped between the end of the sixth round and the beginning of the seventh round, all over/under bets would be declared losers and you will have another case of very happy bookmakers.

The other main proposition wager for boxing matches is betting which fighter will win by a stoppage or knockout. Using the John Smith vs. Pete Brown fight from above, we could expect to see odds similar to:

John Smith by KO or stoppage -110
Pete Brown by KO or stoppage +200

For this bet, Smith backers will only win their wagers if he scores a knockout or the referee stops the bout and declares him the winner. If Smith wins the fight by decision, his backers would lose the wager, as he did not win by KO or stoppage.

The same situation applies for those who wagered on Brown, where he must win by knockout or stoppage, as opposed to winning by decision.

There you have the basics of betting on boxing. Perhaps the next time a fight comes along, you'll be able to deliver a knockout punch to your bookmaker by picking a winner.