In a sense boxing is the oldest sport in the world, although the Marquess of Queensberry rules mark the true beginning of the modern sport we see today. They were published in 1867 but the history of people watching others fight and even betting on it goes back much further. Anyway, enough history lessons for now.
Boxing is a great sport to bet on with big fights almost every weekend of the year and lots of those televised in the UK. Boxing can be a brutal sport but at its best it is thrilling, exhilarating and great fun. Betting on it just makes it even more exciting and the bookies below all offer a great choice of markets, excellent odds and some fabulous free bets too.
Popular Boxing Betting Markets
Betting on boxing is very easy to understand and there aren’t really any catches to be aware of. Below are the best, most popular and also the simplest betting markets.
- Bout Winner – By far and away the main bet for boxing fans, simply pick which fighter you think is going to win or if the contest will end in a draw.
- Round Betting – If you want to back something at longer odds this is ideal: pick which fighter will win and in what round or if by points. The odds range will usually be between 2/1 (often for a points decision at lower weights) and 100/1 and higher for an outsider to score an early knockout.
- Round Group Betting – Similar to above but rather than naming an exact round you can choose from a number of groups, for example Billy Buster to win in rounds one to four, or either fighter to win in rounds seven to 12. Various groups are often available, some to include six rounds or more and some to include just three rounds, often with options to back a named fighter or both.
- Method Of Victory – Here you pick which fighter will win and how they will do so, with knockout, technical knockout and disqualification one option, decision or technical decision another (both these first two for either fighter) and draw or technical draw the last of the five possible outcomes.
Boxing at the top level doesn’t really have tournaments or competitions but is divided primarily by weight and then by sanctioning body. Each weight and body has a belt and these are the biggest prizes in the sport. There are 17 major weight classes, starting at 105lb strawweight, through flyweights, featherweight (where Naseem Hamed was once so dangerous), middleweight (Chris Eubank, Marvin Hagler), cruiserweight (where David Haye was unbeaten) and then heavyweight at 200lb and heavier.
The main sanctioning bodies, and therefore belts, are the WBC (World Boxing Council), WBA (World Boxing Association), IBF (International Boxing Federation) and WBO (World Boxing Organisation). Many regard the WBC as the most respected body and the WBO as the least and to confuse matters further the respected boxing magazine The Ring started awarding belts again in 2002.
Other big fights may be contested for European or British belts, whilst the Olympics are also the highlight of amateur boxing.