How to Bet on Boxing

Top Tips

What You Need to Know

  1. If you are new to betting on boxing, consider starting off small. Find a fight with an obvious favourite and place a small bet to begin with
  2. In most cases, the odds will be expressed in fractions, though they may also be given in decimals. Be sure you understand how odds work before you put any money down
  3. You can either have a flutter at a high street betting shop or you can bet online. As a rule, online bookmakers will offer a wider choice of betting markets and they will let you bet as the action unfolds
  4. The most common type of bet on boxing is to put money on the fighter you think will win. Before you do this, however, be sure to check what the bookmaker's rules are if a fight ends in a draw
  5. Other common bets include putting money on how many rounds a fight will last and how the fight will be decided
  6. To improve your chances of winning you should do your homework. Go online and find out a fighter's statistics and past form and use this information to make an informed bet
  7. Be aware that sports betting can be addictive, so always bet responsibly and never gamble with money you can't afford to lose

Betting on Boxing

While in years gone by boxing may have been plagued by widespread match-fixing, with fighters taking dives and umpires making dodgy decisions, these days, the sport has cleaned up its act and is a great market for betting.

As with most sports, betting on boxing can be as simple or as complex as you make it. Particularly with online betting firms, you will be able to choose from a wide range of markets, from straightforward bets on the outright winner of a bout right through to more niche bets such as which fighter will win the most points in a specific round.

Before you put any money down, it's a good idea to do your homework and learn the principles of betting on boxing. So, here's what you need to know:

Working out the Odds

The odds (also known as the price) indicate how the bookmakers think an event will happen in the context of a boxing match. The odds also determine how much you will win if your prediction is correct. On most sports betting sites, the odds will be expressed as fractions. Alternatively, they could be given in decimal points or even in the American style. In all cases, however, you should be able to change the settings to suit you.

Here's a quick guide to the different ways of expressing odds:

1) Fractional Odds

On UK-based sports betting sites, the default setting for displaying the odds will be as fractions. Odds displayed this way show you how much you will win on a bet compared to how much you put on. The first number of the fraction indicates how much you will win if you place the amount of money shown in the second number of the fraction.

So, if the odds for Fighter A beating Fighter B are 2/1, this means if you bet £1, you stand to receive £2 in winnings (and you will get your original stake back on top of this).

This works on a ratio basis. So, if you place £10 at odds of 2/1, you will receive £20 in winnings. Or, if you place £7 at odds of 2/1, your winnings will be £14, plus your initial stake.

Sometimes you will see that the second number of the fraction is larger than the first. This is an 'odds on' bet and signifies that the bookies believe that the chances of a particular prediction coming true are greater than 50/50 (for instance, if a boxer is a strong favourite going into a fight) The principle remains the same, however: the first number of the fraction indicates how much you will win if you place the amount of money shown in the second number of the fraction

For example, if you put £2 down on odds of 1/2, your winnings will be £1. And again, this works on a ratio basis. So, if you put down £60 at the same odds, you will win £30, plus your initial stake.

2) Decimal Odds

Since most sports fans are used to seeing odds displayed as fractions, getting your head around decimal odds can seem daunting. But, don't worry! This system is equally as straightforward once you've got the hang of it.

The way it works is that you just need to multiply your stake by the decimal shown and this is how much you will receive in winnings, including your returned stake.

So, if you put £1 down on odds of 10.00, you will win £30.00, including your initial stake, if your prediction comes true. And again, this works on a ratio basis. So, if you put down £15 at the same odds of 3.00, you will win £45, including your original stake.

A Further Note About Odds

Some online bookmakers will also display odds on a boxing match in the 'American' style. While some US sports betting fans prefer this system, to avoid any unnecessary confusion, you should switch the odds to either the fractional or decimal system.

If you're still confused about the odds on offer, then click on the bet you want to make and type in the amount you want to bet. With most online bookmakers, you will then be shown how much your stake will return and, using this information, you can decide whether or not you want to go ahead with the bet.

Where to Bet


The best way of betting on boxing is to sign up for online betting. A number of online firms allow you to bet on boxing, and not just on the major fights. Most will offer odds on nearly all fights in a range of classes and across the different championships. In most cases, you the bookmakers are happy to offer a wide variety of bets and letting you bet while the action is taking place. Check out our top 10 Sports Betting Sites and get some introductory free money to start betting with.

Betting Shop

If you would prefer not to bet online, then you will easily be able to find a high street betting shop taking bets on boxing. Unless it's for major fights such as a Las Vegas heavyweight showdown, you may need to ask for the latest odds.

In many cases, a betting shop will offer a lot fewer options than an online sports betting provider. You may only be able to place a bet on the final outcome fight, for example. So, if you want to bet while the drama is unfolding, it's best to go online and open up an account.

Different Types of Bet

Like with most sports, you will usually be able to choose from a massive range of betting markets if you want to put money on boxing, especially if you play online. However, some types of bet are much more popular than others, not least as they are the most straightforward. Here are some of the most common types of bets placed on boxing matches:

1) Outright Winner

The simplest – and most popular – type of bet to place on a boxing match is to put your money on the fighter you think will come out on top. Here, the bookmaker will offer odds on both boxers and, in some cases, they will also offer odds on the bout ending in a draw.

To illustrate this, let's take an example from bet365. Here, you can see the odds offered for a fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Alex Leapai. As you might expect, Klitschko was the favourite going into the bout, and this is reflected in the odds offered by the bookmaker, as we can see below.

outright winner

So, with these odds, if you would need to put £33 on Klitschko to get just £1 back if he wins; hardly tempting odds, but, at the same time, it's quite a safe bet. On the other hand, if you put £10 on Leapai and he does win, you will get £110 back, including your initial stake.

A Note About Drawn Fights

Again, sometimes the bookmaker will offer odds on a fight finishing a draw. At other times, however, they will only offer a two-way win/lose market. If a draw is on offer, then you will lose your money if you have placed a bet on one fighter coming out on top. However, if no draw is on offer, then you will usually get your money back if a fight does indeed end in a tie.

2) Fight Outcome

As well as betting on who you think will win a fight, you can also put money on how you think they will win it, with this often a good way of boosting your potential winnings. Most bookmakers will let you choose from the 8 different ways a bout can be decided, with the odds varying according to how likely each outcome is. The eight outcomes you will be able to bet on are:

  • KO (Knockout): Here, a fighter knocks down his opponent, who is unable to get up before the referee counts him out
  • TKO (Technical Knockout): Here, a fighter wins by knocking his opponent down and, even though his opponent gets up, the referee deems him unfit to continue
  • RTD (Opponent Retired): This is when a fighter wins since his opponent retires from the fight, usually on his doctor's advice
  • DQ (Opponent Disqualified): Here, a fighter wins as his opponent is disqualified from the bout, usually if they have seriously violated the rules. Very rarely, both fighters may be disqualified.
  • UD (Unanimous Decision): If a match finishes with both boxers standing, the three judges will be asked to mark up each fighters' points. This outcome is when the three judges all come to the same conclusion and name the same fighter the winner.
  • MD (Majority Decision): Here, two of the three judges name one fighter the winner and the third calls the match a draw.
  • SD (Split Decision): In this instance, a fighter wins when two of the three judges name him the winner, even though the third judge says his opponent scored more points.
  • TD (Technical Decision): If a fight is stopped due to an accidental breach of the rules, for example if an accidental elbow strike means one fighter is unable to continues, the judges will be asked to give a decision based on points. However, most matches require a minimum number of rounds to have been completed before a Technical Decision can be made. If this minimum is not reached, the referee will call a draw.

A bookmaker doesn't have to offer all of the above options. Sometimes you will only be able to bet on whether a fight will end in a knockout, or if it will be decided by points, for example. Here's what was offered when Klitschko fought Leapai:

fight outcome

3) Number of Rounds

One other popular type of bet is putting money on the number of rounds you think a match will last for. Here, a good knowledge of each fighter's form can increase your chances of winning. For instance, is a certain fighter good at lasting for several rounds, or do they tend to tire?

With this type of bet, you can either put money on there being a specific number of rounds, or you can choose to bet on there being more or less than a certain number of rounds. Plus, to improve the odds you are offered, you will usually be able to combine this with another wager. For example, you could bet on a fighter to win by a knockout in the fifth round. Here's what was offered before the fight between Klitschoko and Leapai:

number of rounds part 1

Alternatively, if you just have a feeling that a fight will be either shot or a close-run thing that will go right to the wire, but you aren't sure who will win, you can simply bet on the total number of rounds, regardless of the end result. For this type of bet you could be offered the following odds, for example:

number of rounds part 2

Again, before you part with any money, you should read up on the bookmaker's rules regarding to bets on rounds. In particular, it's worth noting that, in most cases, if a boxer fails to emerge from his corner when the bell goes, the fight will be deemed to have ended in the previous round. Plus, a points victory is usually only available when the full number of rounds have been fought, though this can vary from bookmaker to bookmaker.

Other Bets

The bigger the fight, the more betting options you will be able to enjoy, especially if you're betting online. In fact, for major events, there's almost no limit on the number of bets on offer and, if you can think of a scenario or possible outcome, chances are a bookie will be happy to offer you odds on this happening. Just some of the possible markets that bookmakers can offer include:

  • Whether a fight will be decided in an odd or even-numbered round
  • How many points a fighter will score during a whole fight
  • Whether a fight will finish before or after the half-way point (that is, before or after the sixth round)

It's worth stressing again that you should always take the time to read the bookmaker's rules as they can vary considerably.

Making a Good Decision

Unless you're just having a quick flutter on a big fight and don't mind if you end up losing, then you will want to do at least a little homework. Boxing is all about form, so having a good knowledge of how different fighters are doing and how they tend to perform under different circumstances is a great way of improving your chances of winning.

Sure, some online betting sites do provide basic information on a fighter's form, such as the results of his past few bouts. Additionally, the odds being offered will also give you a good indication of how likely they are to win or lose. But still, nothing beats doing your own research.

Good sources of information include Boxing News 24 ( and BoxNation (  

Betting Responsibly

As with all betting, there's no such thing as a 'sure thing' in boxing. Even though the favourites usually win, upsets do happen. Given this, you should always bet on the assumption that you could lose your money and you should never bet with money you can't afford to lose.

One other note of caution: Betting on sports can become addictive. Take care to always bet responsibly and never be tempted to try and make up for any losses with more gambling.

Further Sports Betting Reading

As well as our own youtube videos showing you how you can make online bets we have comprehensive betting tip and advice guides which include:

  • Horse racing is still the UK's most popular bet. We have a video and a guide on How to bet on a Horse ,
  • Tennis a global event with matches being played most weeks, its not just about Wimbledon once a year in the UK, our comprehensive guide on How to bet on Tennis will show you how to get involved all year round.
  • How to bet on football our youtube video shows how to bet on the Champions League in the knock out stages.
  • With Cricket being played all the time in Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa there has never been a better time to learn How to bet on Cricket .

Gambling Help and Advice

If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, get in touch with Gamblers Anonymous for some no-pressure advice 


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