Expert Boxing Betting Tips – Twelve essential things you need to look out for


Do you want to bet on boxing? Do you want to have some success with it? Remember that there are things that go beyond just looking at a statistical sheet. If you’ve been to the racetrack, you know that there are facts and factors that you may not see in past performances. Knowing some of those things may present you with a key edge.

In terms of boxing betting tips, you may have the opportunity to actually know more than the oddsmaker himself about any given matchup. Just make sure you are on top of certain things. Why You Should Buy Handicapper Picks can provide insights and advantages that are hard to achieve on your own.

Here’s a checklist of some of those things:

Always know who the “house” fighter is

In case you are unaware of what this is, it is generally the fighter in which the promoter has an interest. It really helps to know this because there are certain intangibles that might swing one fighter’s way leading into the fight.

In some cases, both fighters will be under contract to the promoter. This is not as unusual as you might think; it often happens with the bigger promoters. But the promoter usually has more of an interest in seeing one of the two guys win. That’s because there is more money to be made with one of the two in the next step or further down the line.

Be aware of whether there is a “hometown” favorite

The effect may seem obvious to you. Boxing commissions enjoy having control over the officials who work to fight; depending on which jurisdiction it is, that can even apply to championship fights. I have written volumes about this.

Officials have an interest, whether it seems subconscious or not, in having big fights take place within their jurisdiction. If a hometown kid loses, there is less chance of that happening.

If you’ve ever heard the term “hometown decision,” well, that’s not just a concept. It really exists.

So it’s a good idea to try to find out where the fighters and officials are coming from. Then, apply that information to your own judgment.

Don’t go into a fight wager sight-unseen

It would be unwise for you to dive in on a fight bet simply based on looking at fight-by-fight records or something you read on the internet. What you want to do is go see for yourself.

I have found it much more useful to watch clips of the fighters I’m considering. And when I say that, I mean multiple clips. It gives me an idea as to what kind of style he has and how he has handled different opponents. This should give you a better idea of what guys will be able to do against each other.

Footage used to be very hard to find. Now, there is no excuse not to because of the presence of YouTube. You can find just about everybody on there.

Is there a southpaw in the matchup?

In professional boxing, southpaws are in the minority. No one really wants to fight a southpaw because, in the words of many veteran trainers, “they do things backward.” They throw right jabs and straight lefts and move differently than what an “orthodox” fighter may be used to.

Some world-class fighters might have more experience against southpaws than others. In that case, they might feel more comfortable. If a matchmaker is doing something for a house fighter, they are not going to put them in uncomfortable situations like that.

Sometimes, however, in the case of championship-level fights, those choices aren’t available. Quick anecdote – I was once involved with a fighter who not only was not comfortable fighting a southpaw but he was scared to death of them. Like some people are scared of clowns.

But at one point, an opportunity to fight for a title came, and it was against a left-handed fighter; there was no getting around it. So our guy promptly went into the ring against an opponent who could really hit, and he was out of there in less than a minute.

Yes, southpaws can change the dynamic.

Weight could become an issue.

I know people, with some background in the industry, who won’t decide on who to wager on until the weigh-in. It’s not because they want to see the staredown, or the saeeminglyobligatory skirmish that happens as a promotional vehicle more than anything else. Those things are largely meaningless.

Rather, they want to see how easily the fighters have made the assigned weight, or whether they have to do a little more work in order to get down to it. In the case of heavyweights, they might compare those weight figures to where the fighters were when they were at their best.

In most cases these days, weigh-ins are held the day before the fight. Naturally, this presents a scenario in which the official weights can be quite different from how much the fighters will weigh when they actually go into the ring. HBO used to have these guys get on a scale right before the fight to give viewers a better perspective on what these guys really weighed. But this ultimately met with resistance because of the disparities in weight that it exposed.

The fact is, some fighters are much better at replenishing themselves after a weigh-in. A guy can weigh in at 130 pounds for a junior lightweight fight and come into the ring at 150. There’s going to be an advantage in that for the guy who’s bigger. Somehow, if you can find out who is good at this, you might find an edge, And it leads us into another point, which is…..

Be careful about the guys moving up.

The atmosphere in this industry has changed from the time I first got into it. There are fewer boxing shows and fewer fighters being developed. Consequently, there is less in the way of depth in most divisions. Whereas an outstanding fighter could do well enough by dominating one weight class, it became increasingly more difficult to do that as the years progressed.

So what you see more and more of these days are fighters who move up in weight, rather than within their own division, in order to make paydays. When I watched Alexis Arguello fight Aaron Pryor at the Orange Bowl in 1982, Arguello was trying to become the first fighter to win championships in four different weight divisions. Nowadays, there are so many fighters with three titles that I can’t even list them. If you don’t have belts in three, four, or five-weight divisions, you’re not able to build a “legacy” (overused word).

The movement is upward. When that happens, a fighter will keep moving up to the point where he is much less effective. So be on the lookout for these kinds of situations, particularly if the opponent is someone who is more natural in that division. This could be an opportunity.

Look seriously at the alternative wagers

You obviously don’t have to bet where you’re going with one side or the other. I’ll be honest with you; a lot of times, a sportsbook will lay out odds on a fight where it doesn’t even look like they want you to make a bet. That is to say, you’re not finding value on either side.

An example might be something like this, as we saw in one sportsbook this week, regarding a lightweight bout that was upcoming in the UK:

  • Paddy Donovan  -1800
  • Lewis Ritson +900

Well, you can imagine that it will look at either of those fighters and see value. However, for the same fight, we have a more interesting proposition on the over-under:

  • Over 6.5 Rounds  -115
  • Under 6.5 Rounds -115

Here, you’ve got what is essentially an even proposition. So maybe your time would be better spent evaluating whether Ritson (the underdog) can go beyond the halfway point of the seventh round or whether either of these guys could fall early.

There’s another way to go, which involves the exact “Method of Victory.” And if you have a strong opinion, it is an avenue through which you can place a wager and get a better value. For more strategies on how to maximize your bets, check out Best Ways to Bet on a Fight.

Let’s take a look at this as it applied to the recent heavyweight championship fight between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury.

The odds on the winner:

  • Tyson Fury -140
  • Oleksandr Usyk  +110

The over-under on total rounds:

  • Over 10.5 Rounds -240
  • Under 10.5 Rounds  +190

Here were your choices when it comes to the method of victory:

  • Usyk by Decision or Technical Decision +225
  • Usyk by KO, TKO or DQ +400
  • Fury by Decision or Technical Decision +200
  • Fury by KO, TKO, or DQ +275
  • Draw or Technical Draw +1100

So, from the mathematical perspective, do those numbers make sense?

Well, if you were able to parlay specific outcomes with each other separately, you would get more value than you might in this prop. But not always.

For example, if you liked Fury by decision, you’d be picking Fury to win, and the fight would go over 10.5 rounds. If you multiplied the percentage chance that those things would happen, you’d come out with “true” odds of +143, so +200 is a better price. But if you liked Usyk by decision, you’d be multipying .476 by .706, you’d come up with .336, which translates to +198, which does not give you as good a return as the +225 price.

If liked Fury do win inside the distance, you would, in all likelihood, be looking at an “under” on the rounds prop. The price of +275 is not as good as the “real” price of +398. Likewise, with Usyk, his actual odds on a KO or TKO, based on the separate prices that are posted, would come to +509, less in comparison to the +400 that is posted (I sure hope I’ve done my calculations right).

Who are the survivors?

Personally, I prefer the over-under wagers because not only do they present more value for me most of the time, but I also like to think that I have a certain instinct for them. It doesn’t always work out for me, but I think there are plenty of fights that are going the distance, or close to it, regardless of who the winner is.

So, for purposes of the “total rounds” bet, what I look for are fighters who are simply difficult to take out, whether it is because they have a survival instinct or a granite chin. More often than not, it helps to see what happened to this fighter in his losses because those are, by and large, fights where he was in the ring with someone who was better.

Naturally, it takes two to tango. So, we have to weigh the punching power of the opponent. But a guy who, past a certain point, is determined not to be knocked out is hard to knock out. And this is a factor in the over-under wager.

Options – what to know

There are times when a promoter does not have a promotional contract with a fighter but may have “options” on his next two or three fights based on an agreement that the fighter had to make to receive an opportunity from that promoter.

In plain English, I’m a promoter. I am the world champion. I give someone a title shot. In exchange for that, I get options on his first two title defenses if he wins. Then he wins. I may try to sign him to a promotional contract. But if I don’t, I am going to exercise those options and use them to beat that fighter with a guy that I DO have under contract. That’s my focus.

In a given fight, this might be the situation. The information about fighters giving options is often no secret; you can read it in stories on the internet. It doesn’t hurt at all to be aware of this information.

Watch out for fighters coming off their first career loss

I am always wary of fighters who are highly touted, suffer their first career loss, and then return to action. And if they take an especially long hiatus, I’m even more careful. That’s because any undefeated fighter who loses undergoes something of a transformation since, naturally, in this day and age, it does indeed change his career.

This could take the form of mental and emotional doubts about himself, having tasted defeat for the first time. It could conceivably make a fighter a little more “gun shy.” Those fighters who are mentally tough can come back strong in their next fight against a substantial opponent, which would probably be the next fight that is posted with a betting line. Part of that could be because they’ve managed to pull something positive out of a loss or have diagnosed some weakness that can be corrected. The support structure for the fighter looms large here. It’s one thing to be a front-runner; to deal with adversity is another thing entirely.

Don’t overestimate the effect of a change in trainers

In horse racing, it might mean one thing; in boxing, it’s quite another.

Fighters often change trainers as a way of deflecting responsibility for a loss away from themselves. Or they believe there is some kind of magic potion a new guy can provide.

Once a professional boxer gets to the main event level, he already knows how to fight. A new trainer, more than likely, isn’t going to teach him how. A change in trainers may have a positive psychological effect more than anything else. But fundamentally speaking, if you’re expecting a fighter to suddenly develop a great left hook or a dominant jab just because he changed trainers, you’ll be waiting a while for that.

Trust that the matchmaker knows what he’s doing.

When there are “optional” fights that aren’t mandated by a sanctioning body, there is going to be a certain amount of discretion on the part of the promoter and matchmaker. By and large, they know who they’re putting their house fighter in with. They know if a house fighter can handle a southpaw. They know who’s taking a fight for the payday.

Sometimes, you may see a fight between a well-known name and a virtual unknown. But if the unknown is a prospect that is being steered by a promoter, more often than not, they know what they’re doing as far as that opponent is concerned.

These guys aren’t flying blind. Have some respect for that.

In addition to being a handicapper, CHARLES JAY is a former promoter, matchmaker and manager in professional boxing, and is an inductee into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame.

FAQs: Boxing Betting Tips

What are some key boxing betting tips?

Some key boxing betting tips include understanding who the house fighter is, being aware of hometown favorites, watching multiple clips of fighters, and considering the impact of southpaws.

How can the weigh-in affect my betting decision?

The weigh-in can provide insight into how easily fighters gain weight and how well they can replenish themselves afterward. Observing this can help gauge their physical condition and readiness.

Why is it important to know if a fighter is moving up in weight?

Fighters moving up in weight may face challenges against naturally heavier opponents. Understanding this dynamic can help predict potential disadvantages and bet outcomes.