The premise of boxing is simple enough; two people enter the ring and box each other, and one comes out a winner via knockout or decision. But handicapping boxing successfully is far from simple; there are many different boxing betting strategies to factor in when making decisions on who is a strong favorite or a live dog. Here are some important free boxing betting tips to help you fine-tune your boxing handicapping technique.
Analyzing Similar Boxing Opponents
While there are countless different variations and hybrids, most boxers are classified as one of three types; an inside-fighter, an outside-fighter, or a brawler.
Inside-fighters, as their name suggests, like to close inside on their opponent and do damage with big hooks and uppercuts. Outside-fighters like to keep their opponents at arms’ length, and rely on wearing them down with jabs, often times boxing to win rounds and win by decision rather than knockout. Brawlers focus less on technique and speed and more on raw power, able to end a fight with one punch if they land it properly.
When handicapping a match, you should first diagnose the fighting styles of each of the fighters. With knowledge of what style (or hybrid of styles) each boxer utilizes, you can research past opponents and see how each boxer in a fight has fared against similar opponents in the past. For example, if Boxer A is a brawler and is fighting Boxer B (an out-fighter) today, you can look for other out-fighters Boxer A has fought and other brawlers Boxer B has fought.
With this information, you may notice strengths or weaknesses you wouldn’t have noticed just looking at win-loss records. A past win over a talented opponent might look impressive, but if you notice that that past opponent had a completely different style than today’s, perhaps it will weigh less heavily into your decision on the fight.
Studying Training Regimens
Boxing handicappers simply cannot undervalue the importance of a boxer’s training regiment leading up to a fight. Look no further than James “Buster” Douglas’ infamous knockout of Mike Tyson in 1990. Tyson, then 37-0, did not take the fight seriously and was under-prepared and unmotivated. Douglas, a 42-to-1 underdog, won via knockout.
The more information you can dig up on a boxer’s training regimen, both in this fight and in past fights, the better guess you can make as to what type of form you will get in this upcoming match. Some boxers are extremely consistent, and go through virtually the exact same training regimen regardless of who their opponent is; these types of boxers are usually consistent in the ring as well.
Other boxers may change their training techniques drastically based on a number of different factors. An injury could slow down a training regimen (or change it to accommodate rehabilitation). Motivation stemming from inside the ring (such as a personal grudge or a rematch against an opponent) or outside the ring (last chance at redemption, coming off of a loss, etc.) may ramp up training, while lack of motivation may pull it back.
Regardless of a boxer’s reasons for deterring from their normal training regimen for better or worse, being aware of the preparation that leads up to the fight will help you spot a boxer in line for a big day or an off day.
Taking Other’s Opinions into Account
Realistically, it is impossible to keep up with the careers of every boxer, especially those that aren’t household names. Unlike major sports like basketball, baseball, and football that are constantly blasting on ESPN and local sports stations, boxing fans and bettors have to dig deeper to find coverage on their sport.
For this reason, bettors shouldn’t be hesitant to read and consider news and opinion articles from people who cover boxing. Many bettors are trained to learn that the media is “square”, and their opinions on sports stations and publications should be ignored. This is valuable advice when talking about major sports that have countless talking heads simply filling hours of programming; but for niche sports like boxing, those that cover it well tend to be fairly knowledgeable.
Obviously, every opinion should be taken with a grain of salt. But don’t deprive yourself of valuable information about a boxer’s recent form, style, training, or motivation simply because you didn’t witness it firsthand.