For decades, boxing and its modern-day gladiators have been mainstays in the world of sports betting. It’s a rock’em-sock’em, pulse-pounding source of entertainment. From Holyfield vs. Tyson 2 to Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, big ticket fights can generate hundreds of millions in ticket sales, and even more money in wagers.
If you’re interested in learning about how to bet on sports, boxing is a great place to start.
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How Boxing Works
Boxing is a full-contact combat sport where two fighters face one another in a ring, with nothing but their fists, gloves, and will to win. Most professional bouts will go for a dozen 3-minute rounds, with each fighter attempting to knock the daylights out of the other.
Contests will typically be decided in one of four ways, and as a bettor, you can often wager on any of these outcomes:
Knockout (KO) – A KO is the ultimate sign of victory—the ideal outcome for audiences. A knockout occurs when one fighter goes down and is unable to rise from the mat within a referee’s ten-count. Think George Foreman flooring Joe Frazier in the “Sunshine Showdown” in 1973.
Technical knockout (TKO) – A TKO is a stoppage by the referee, the fighter’s corner, or a ringside doctor due to the fighter’s inability to safely continue the bout. A common instance of this involves cases where the fighter is clearly concussed but still on their feet. Another example of this would be when Vitali Klitschko’s corner stopped the fight against Lennox Lewis in 2003 due to a severe cut above Klitschko’s eye, despite having a scorecard lead.
Disqualification (DQ) – This occurs when a fighter repeatedly or flagrantly breaches the rules, leading to their dismissal by the referee. The most infamous example would be the “Bite Fight” between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield in 1997, where Tyson was disqualified for biting off the top of Holyfield’s ear.
A decision by judges – If a fight goes the distance without a KO, TKO, or DQ, the result is decided by three ringside judges who score each round according to factors like aggression, strikes landed, strikes defended, and ring control. Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s defensive mastery often led to him winning via decision.
In rare cases, a bout may go the distance and be scored so narrowly that the judges call the fight a draw.
Boxing Weight Categories
In boxing, size matters. Boxers are not only split into categories by sex—male and female—but also by weight to ensure fair competition. Currently, professional governing bodies now recognize a total of 17 weight classes, including:
Heavyweight – Over 200 lbs
Cruiserweight – Up to 200 lbs
Light Heavyweight – Up to 175 lbs
Super Middleweight – Up to 168 lbs
Middleweight – Up to 160 lbs
Super Welterweight – Up to 154 lbs
Welterweight – Up to 147 lbs
Super Lightweight – Up to 140 lbs
Lightweight – Up to 135 lbs
Super Featherweight – Up to 130 lbs
Featherweight – Up to 126 lbs
Super Bantamweight – Up to 122 lbs
Bantamweight – Up to 118 lbs
Super Flyweight – Up to 115 lbs
Flyweight – Up to 112 lbs
Light Flyweight – Up to 108 lbs
Minimumweight – Up to 105 lbs
Each category carries its own dynamics, styles, and potential outcomes. For instance, heavyweight bouts often have higher knockout ratios, while lower weight classes often see more fights go the distance, leading to more decisions.
Most fight nights will have approximately five bouts, starting at the lighter weights and moving up to the heavier weight categories.
Reading Boxing Odds
Before you bet on a boxing match, you should understand what the numbers on the slip—also known as the odds—mean. Boxing typically uses American odds, which provide a negative (-) sign to indicate the favorite and a positive (+) sign to the underdog. These odds are given for bets of $100 units.
For instance, let’s take a look at the celebrity cruiserweight fight between influencer Jake Paul and UFC veteran Nate Diaz, scheduled for August 5th. Currently, the moneyline odds—where you simply select a winner—look as follows:
Jake Paul -285
Nate Diaz +220
For this fight, the younger and longer Paul is the clear odds-on favorite to win. A fight slip with a $285 bet on Paul would win $100; whereas a $100 bet on Diaz would win $220.
Other Types Of Boxing Bets
While moneyline is the most obvious type of boxing bet, it’s not the only one. There are other options as well, including:
Total Rounds (over/under) – With boxing, the (o/u) predicts how long the fight will last in total. If the total rounds are set for 8 at (-110) and the fight goes past round 8, a $110 bet would win $100.
Method of victory – As mentioned above, there are several different paths to victory in boxing. Here, you don’t need to predict the winner (though you can), just the way the eventual winner will end the fight.
Props – Props are wagers on whether something will happen or not happen in a given boxing match. Some examples of props include:
- Will there be a knockout?
- Will the fight go the distance?
- Will a fighter be DQd?
- Will the fight end in a draw?
Bet On Boxing At Tipico
There are countless ways to bet and win in boxing. From moneyline predictions on the eventual winner to more advanced propositions like “will there be a KO?”—Tipico offers a thrilling experience for both casual boxing fans and seasoned gamblers alike.
The next few months have some fantastic main event bouts on the calendar. Are you ready to pick and root on your favorites? If you’re interested in other combat sports, be sure to bet on the UFC and make fight nights even more electric!
As a licensed US sportsbook specializing in online sports betting, you can place live bets straight from your iOS or Android mobile device with Tipico.
Ready to get started? Register with Tipico today.