Oleksandr Usyk, left, claimed his 18th professional win by beating Dereck Chisora
Oleksandr Usyk, left, claimed his 18th professional win by beating Dereck Chisora

Boxing betting guide: Bet types, rules, format information, odds, in-play and more

Prizefighting and betting have always gone together and that relationship looks as strong as ever during the current boxing boom.

The sport has enjoyed a huge resurgence in recent years in the UK and that popularity certainly appears to have transferred into the punting markets, where so much more is available to the customer than before.

The primitive and simplistic nature of two people engaging in physical battle has always appealed to the masses, yet top-class combat under the Queensbury Rules is as skilful and technical as any other sport out there, meaning both hard core and casual fans usually have an opinion on the outcomes of big fights.

While stats are usually a big tool to punters in other sports, that is not so much the case in boxing but there is still information to be gained from the numbers.  The types and volume of punches a fighter throws in a bout are recorded and can offer pointers to somebody's work rate or preferred shots, while the overall win and loss record is an obvious starting point when researching a fight. However, there is a good reason the phrase 'styles make fights' is regularly heard in boxing chat and there is no substitute for watching back previous fights when it comes to studying. This can be time-consuming but valuable knowledge is gained on areas such as how a fighter does and doesn't like to box, the tactics they like to employ and their regular traits, all of which help paint a much better picture of how a matchup might play out.  

While the straight win markets will always see lots of action, they can be a lot less appealing when there is a short-priced favourite and now there are so many more ways for a punter to have their say on the fight.

Method of Victory

Probably the most popular way of betting on boxing, this is predicting not only who will win but how that they will do it. With options of victory by stoppage (knockout or technical knockout) or by decision for each fighter, it is a way of giving you greater odds about the person you fancy if you can predict how their success will come.  This can be especially popular when there is a very strong favourite and punters still want to get involved, with a fighter's record giving strong clues as to how they usually get the job done. For example, while nearly always long odds-on, Floyd Mayweather rarely stopped opponents in the latter stages of his career and backing him to win on points proved a lucrative approach at better odds than just for him to get the victory by any means.  This can be taken further with the exact method of victory, a market which is available for most big fights and covers the different types of decision (unanimous, split and majority) as well as the knockout or technical knockout.

Round betting

Long odds are generally available if you want to predict a fighter to win in a specific round, but for good reason. It is very difficult to be so precise with a round prediction and choose the correct three minutes in which one person ends the bout, but this approach can be appealing for those wanting to keep their stakes relatively low and still have an interest in the fight.  Round group betting gives you a wider range for lesser odds and is useful if you see a fight ending in one section of the bout. If someone is not regarded as a big puncher but you believe they can wear down their opponent with volume as the fight goes on, then backing them to win in rounds 7-12 may be the bet for you, while expecting a big hitter to get it done early may lead you to a bet of round 1-3 for your fancy.


A very popular market is the line on how many rounds it will go, with a straight under or overs bet available for what the layers set the mark at. This gives you an angle in without nailing yours colours to the mast of one fighter and can attract some hefty bets in a straight two-way market.  For instance, going 'over' could be your way in if you envisage a close fight going to the wire and the line is set at 9.5 rounds. 

Special bets

A variety of these are put up for the bigger matches, ranging from number of knockdowns to who will land the most punches, while a market for who somebody's next opponent will be can be available after a big win. For example, while fans of Anthony Joshua will have been sad to see their man lose his titles against Andy Ruiz Jr. in New York last summer, they could still have made a profit by wagering there would be more than two knockdowns in the main event at Madison Square Garden that night. Such markets offer great variety, as does the request-a-bet option which enables you to combine many markets for larger odds. For instance, backing Tyson Fury to score the most knockdowns, land the most power punches and win his rematch against Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas would have yielded a tidy profit. 


In-play betting has become increasingly popular in recent years and that is no different in boxing. Allowing you to have a look at how things are going before making your move, you may believe one fighter is implementing their tactics or game plan more successfully, or that somebody has started too fast and therefore may tire late on. 

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