There’s no question that betting remains central to the appeal of horse racing, and indeed, its image around the world. Major events like the Kentucky Derby, Cheltenham Festival and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe continue to attract heavy numbers of punters who fancy their chances of correctly predicting the winner of the latest eagerly-anticipated race.
The Best Boxing Betting Tips
1. Don’t be swayed by fighter reputation over performance
Boxing is a sport that is very much about individual reputations - arguably too much, and misleadingly so. After all, a fighter who has even been in the game for long enough to have a reputation may have already passed their peak, whereas a youngster who bursts onto the scene with a flurry of wins may not deliver another eye-catching result again.
What's the answer to this? Easy: to focus firmly on performance, including those subtlest signs that may indicate whether a given competitor is likely to ace their next bout, or suffer a shock loss.
2. Bear in mind that a good sign could also be a bad sign
Boxing also has a lot of scope to deceive you - certainly with some of those 'positive' signs that may be far from positive in the context of a particular fighter.
Sure, the given fighter may have clocked up a string of quick knockouts, but against a more evenly matched opponent in a fight that lasts more than a few rounds, will they have the stamina to deliver the win? Experience can also be overrated in a fighter who is too worn out by past battles to be able to bring that experience to bear in their next bout.
3. Target fighters that are truly in their prime
When betting on boxing, a fighter's actual, chronological age doesn't mean much compared to what is known as their 'ring age'. A wide range of factors help to determine whether a fighter at a supposedly 'prime' age really is at their height - while some fighters are still picking up high-level titles well into their 40s, others may be finished by their mid-20s.
Consider such factors as the given fighter's current speed, stamina, accuracy, timing and reflexes. Do they seem 'spent', or instead look like they have plenty of mileage left in the tank?
4. Back the hungriest fighters – not necessarily those with the best record
'Hunger' is a tricky thing to try to analyse in a boxer - we've all seen those fighters who doggedly work their way up the ranks to ultimate glory, having come from rough streets in a third-world country. But will that hunger remain once the millions in fight purses and endorsements start rolling in?
All too often, the answer to that question is "no". However, there are also frequently many other fighters who manage to preserve the same heart and determination right through their careers.
5. Don’t simply back your heroes or compatriots
Any situation in which you are betting without any sense of logic is not a good one to be in when you are betting on boxing or of course, any sport. Yet, so many people do it. Simply because you may love your fellow countrymen or have long admired a particular over-the-hill fighter, doesn't give you much of an excuse.
Yes, we all love our heroes, but it might be best not to meet them - or to bet on them.
6. Don’t presume someone from a ‘tougher’ background will win
We're not saying that you shouldn't account for a fighter's background when seeking to judge who will fare best in an upcoming bout. However, this is definitely one factor on which one can easily place too much emphasis.
7. Beware habitually fouling fighters
Certain fighters have a knack of consistently violating the rules while getting away with it - something that is especially apparent when the head is involved. While it is technically illegal for a boxer to ram the top of their head into an opponent's face, it is often extremely difficult for a referee to pinpoint such a foul, given that it can look like a normal part of the action.
Other fighters, of course, are rather less subtle with their rule violations, and do get called out for it. Is that fighter you're analysing a good or bad practitioner of the 'dark arts'?