Boxing is one of the world’s oldest and most popular sports, and unlike some more specialised sports, it has a following around the world. Some of the best boxers in the history of the sport have become global icons and when there is a big fight, particularly a big heavyweight fight, you can guarantee an audience in the millions and worldwide attention.
For as long as there have been fighters prepared to do battle in front of a crowd, there have been people willing to bet on those fights. The links between boxing and betting go back to the dawn of civilisation, so it is not surprising to find that there is a thriving global boxing betting scene, with punters prepared to bet real money on their favourite boxing stars.
Betting on boxing
One of the first things you may notice when you check out the boxing betting markets is that the prices on offer in the Bout Winner section can sometimes be extremely small. While upsets in the ring do happen, you will usually find that the best boxer generally prevails, and with just two options in the market, bookmakers take few chances with their odds. As a result, unless you think there is likely to be an upset, betting on the favourite in a boxing bout involves betting at very short odds.
What is round betting?
If you have a large betting bankroll, you can afford to bet at short odds, but for most betting fans, that won’t be feasible. It is for this reason that many of those who bet on boxing opt for the round betting markets rather than the main Bout Winner options.
This is a phenomenon seen in some other sports, where the Handicap or the Over/Under markets are increasingly popular among punters looking for a new angle. Boxing, unlike sports such as basketball, football and rugby, is not based around numerical scores, so bookmakers who want to offer a different angle on boxing betting have concentrated on rounds. Boxing bouts are made up of a set number of three-minute rounds, and this makes a convenient basis for setting up betting markets.
What is exact round betting?
One of the most popular and volatile boxing betting markets is the Exact Round market. Predicting which round a fight will end in is common among boxing fans, and so this form of betting is a natural extension. When you look at a typical Exact Round market, you will see a list of rounds, usually up to 12, though this can vary according to the terms of the fight, with odds next to each round.
These markets can also be useful for gleaning information about the fight. For instance, if the Bout Winner market suggests Boxer A is a heavy favourite and the Exact Round market offers its shortest price about the third round, you can establish that the bookmaker is expecting an early conclusion.
What does 9.5 rounds mean?
For those who find the Exact Round market a little too volatile, there is another round betting option worth considering. This is the Total Rounds Over/Under market. A typical market may look like this:
- Over 9.5 rounds 11/10
- Under 9.5 rounds 8/11
If you think the fight will go the distance, then the Over option is a good bet, but if you’re confident that there will be an early finish, you can opt for the Under selection. Bookmakers usually offer these markets in half-round increments, and it is important to bear this in mind when considering your bet.
In the case of the market above, the 9 refers to completed rounds. So when you bet on Under 9.5 rounds, you are betting on the fight ending before the halfway point of the tenth round.
When you’re considering a bet in this market, you have to look at a number of factors, including the fighting styles of the two boxers. One fighter may be considerably stronger than the other, but if they have a cautious style, the fight may last longer than you’d expect.
What is grouped round betting?
The other important round betting variation to be aware of is Grouped Round betting. In this case, punters have the choice of betting on a range of rounds, within which they think the fight will end. A typical Grouped Round market may look like this:
- Round 1-3 3/1
- Round 4-6 5/2
- Round 7-9 2/1
- Round 10-12 4/1
Most bookmakers (try BetFred’s offer here) will offer a variety of round ranges so you should be able to find your preferred option. Grouped Round markets are also often paired with the identity of the winning fighter, so, for example, you might bet on Fighter A winning in the 4th to 6th round.
Betting on boxing can be an exciting way to enjoy the sport, and for those who know their sport well, it can be profitable. By considering all of the various round betting options, you can add depth and nuance to your boxing strategy.