How to Bet on Boxing

Win, Lose, Over, Under, and Knockout

Welterweight boxer knocked out during fight
Mike Powell/Stone/Getty Images

Boxing and betting have gone hand-in-hand for many years, perhaps a little too closely at times. In the early 1970s, betting on boxing was more popular than betting on the NFL, but allegations of fixing fights and horrendous judge decisions turned many people away from the betting aspect of the sport. For the most part, however, boxing has done a good job of trying to regain public confidence in the integrity of the sport.

Win, Lose, or Draw

Boxing uses the money line and is pretty straightforward in regards to wagering, as the odds will be given next to each boxer's name.

For an example, the odds on a hypothetical boxing match would be something similar to the following:

  • John Smith -200
  • Pete Brown +150
  • Draw +2000

If you wager on Smith, you will have to risk $200 to win $100, but if you wager on Brown you are asked to risk $100 to win $150. If you believe the fight will end in a draw, then you have to risk $100 to win $2,000.

It's important to note that you don't have to wager $100 to win $150, you can risk $20 to win $30, but money line odds are given in terms of $100 wagers.

On boxing bets, your fighter must win the fight or you lose your wager. If the fight is declared a draw, bets on both fighters are declared losers. If you bet on the draw, then congratulations, you just won a nice chunk of change.

It's important to note that if the fight you are betting on does not have the option of betting on a draw and the fight ends in a draw, all wagers are refunded, as it is treated like a tie bet in other sports.

Boxing Proposition Bets

Because a number of fights can be pretty one-sided, the bookmakers will generally come up with several proposition wagers on major fights such as over or under on the number of rounds the fight will go or if the bout will end in a knockout or stoppage by the referee.

Over or Under

The most popular boxing proposition bet is the over or under for how long the fight lasts. The wager works in the same manner as an over or under bet in other sports. Instead of betting that there will be over or under a certain number of points scored, you are betting over or under a certain number of rounds taking place. For another hypothetical example:

  • Over 6 full rounds -140
  • Under 6 full rounds 120

If you wager over the six full rounds, you will win your bet as long as both fighters are in the ring for the start of the seventh round. If you wager on the under six full rounds, you will win your wager provided the fight is stopped anytime prior to the bell signaling the end of round No. 6.

If the fight is stopped between the end of the sixth round and the beginning of the seventh round, all over/under bets would be declared losers.

Knockout or Stoppage

The other main proposition wager for boxing matches is betting if a fighter will win by a stoppage or knockout. If you use the hypothetical John Smith vs. Pete Brown fight from above, you could expect to see the following odds on a knockout or referee stoppage:

  • John Smith by KO or stoppage -110
  • Pete Brown by KO or stoppage +200

For this bet, if you are backing Smith in this case, then you will only win if he scores a knockout or the referee stops the bout and declares him the winner. If Smith wins the fight by decision, then you would lose the wager, as he did not win by knockout or stoppage.

The same situation applies if you wagered on Brown. Brown must win by knockout or stoppage, as opposed to winning by decision.