How to bet boxing

People have been betting on boxing since the beginning of time.

Sure, the fights have changed from bare-knuckle brawls in the street to organized 12-round bouts in dazzling arenas, but the betting hasn't changed. You're still betting on who's going to beat the hell out of the other guy.

In the bad old days, you better have your money on the right side of a fixed fight, as legend has it many fights were rigged. Fortunately, most of the crooked behavior nowadays happens at the promoter level ins setting up the fights and the battles inside the ring are legitimate.

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The most basic boxing bet is simply to pick the winner of the fight. It doesn't matter if they win by knockout, technical knockout or unanimous decision as long as the arm held aloft by the referee after the fight is attached to the fighter you put your money on.

Odds to win can vary considerably in different fights. In some championship bouts, the title holder can be a huge favorite, although that doesn't always pan out – just ask Buster Douglas who beat then-invincible Mike Tyson back in 1990 as a 60/1 underdog. Some Vegas sportsbooks didn’t even bother posting odds on that fight because Tyson would never lose.

When two up-and-coming fighters square off, boxing odds can be practically even. [ See the latest boxing odds on upcoming fights ]

That's where bettors need to do some real homework and figure out if the huge favorite is even worth backing and which of the up-and-comers is the real deal and will take the next step.

One boxing bet quickly growing in popularity is choosing which round the fight will end. Sometimes the books will let you actually choose a specific round while other will put up a total and you must decide if the fight will go over or under the total. It's called boxing over under betting.

Again this is where research comes in. It would help to know if the favored fighter has dropped his last five opponents in the first five rounds or if he's never gone the distance in a single fight.

There are also fighters that have more stamina and defensive boxing savvy (say Bernard Hopkins) than power (say Vitali Klitschko) and typically go the distance instead of sending their opponent to the canvas early on.

Make sure you know what kind of fighters are fighting before betting on when the fight will be over.