Is Boxing Back on the Map as Legit Contender for Sports Bettors?

Boxing Back On Map

Boxing has had periods in history where its stars shone brighter than any athletes on the planet. Ali, Dempsey, Tyson, Foreman, Frazier, Leonard, Duran, the list goes on ad nauseam.

We’ve got our own brand of superstars that create the most incredible show on earth. Tyson Fury comes to mind. We also have the stars crossing over from other forms of combat. Even those making the leap from being popular culture celebrities to the ring.

This new blood is putting on a show, unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. The past 3-years have seen boxing come back into the spotlight as must-see TV.

Is boxing back on the map as a legit contender for sports bettors?

UFC has kept combat sports alive for decades, but boxing is the undisputed champion. At least, that seems to be the direction things are heading.

The Sweet Science

For as long as two contestants have been willing to step into the ring and engage in hand to hand combat. Bettors have been filling back alleys ready to place a wager on the outcome of the bout.

Boxing was one of the first organized sports in many regions. For years it was boxing and horse racing that ruled the sports landscape in the U.S.

Unsurprisingly, each of these events remains well-positioned to cater to the sports bettors.

Before any of us were alive:
Stars like Dempsey and Jack Johnson were the biggest stars on the planet. MLB was still in its infancy when these two pugilists burst onto the scene. Other sports leagues like the NBA and NFL weren’t even a vision.

Moreover, the moving picture was a delight of any patron to the local theater. But we never celebrated the movie stars on the level they are today. The sweet science ruled the roost, and that trend would continue for many decades.

Promoters primarily directed that romance at the sports bettors. The sums of money that these fighters generated garnered the attention of criminals.

That’s when sports betting and boxing began to realize their full potential. Despite the infamous characters associated with boxing. The sport remained squarely in the limelight through the negative image.

History of Excellence in Entertainment

In 1960 Cassius Clay burst into the professional ranks. Boxing was prime with the great Sonny Liston as the number one heavyweight contender. That was when boxing sat on the precipice of a new era in excellence. In 1964, Cassius Clay defeated Liston by TKO, making him the heavyweight champion.

Shortly after the fight, Clay would become Ali.

The sport of boxing would never be the same. Ali gave us some of the most ferocious fights of all time.

During the 1960s and 1970s, boxing was a priority for sports fans and gamblers across the country. Then in the 1980s, boxing experienced what pundits refer to as a haymaker. Mike Tyson stole the show and had gamblers flooding the sportsbooks to place their bets. Most of them were on the champ.

Through the years, boxing has paired incredible athletes and a flair for entertainment. This combination has drawn millions of fans to the sport and gambling.

The Close Connection Between Las Vegas and Prize Fights

Many of you are likely wondering why Las Vegas and prizefighting are so perfectly suited. Many speculate that the close ties between gambling, boxing, and the mob played a key role.

This conclusion holds some merit.

Yet, the ties between organized crime and Las Vegas are much looser than you think.

The reasons for the close connection between places like Vegas and boxing is easy. Boxing fans love to gamble, and gamblers love boxing. It’s this connection formed between fans and gambling that keeps sportsbooks full year-round.

Furthermore, boxing fans will spend plenty of free time in the casino.

So, the casinos are happy to pony up plenty of cash to fight promoters. The boxers are glad to set up and battle in front of the massive Vegas crowds.

The fans love the situation and are as excited to gamble as they are to spectate. Everyone wins by hosting the biggest fights of the year in Sin City.

Gamblers Love a Spectacle

Sports bettors love drama. The greater the spectacle, the more excited we are to hand over fistfuls of cash to the sportsbook.

Some of the most bet on sporting events of the year are rivalries.

The more hated an opponent, the more emphasis is on having some skin in the game.

NCAA football:
The NFL, Major League Baseball, and the NBA are the most heavily bet on sporting events. When two teams can stir up some controversy, it piques public interest. When people are buzzing about a particular contest, the money follows. Nothing can create a spectacle like a champion boxer.

Back when Sonny Liston was the champ, his mere presence was enough to put fear in others. Some boxers were so intimidated by Liston they merely refused to fight him. This list included the reigning British champion, Henry Cooper.

When Cassius Clay came along and upset Liston, his brash personality was polarizing. People either hated or loved him, and by the time he changed his name to Muhammad Ali, most minds were made. Ali became one of the greatest fighters in history. He’s also widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time. There’s no question that he was one of the greatest showmen ever to walk the planet. Fast forward to the era of Mike Tyson, and boxing enthusiasts enjoyed a new brand of must-watch television. Tyson had a right hook that would stop a buffalo in its tracks.

Iron Mike also had a unique ability to do and say things away from the ring that were shocking. Tyson didn’t reserve his psychotic demeanor for weigh-ins and pressers. Most notably, the time he bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear in the ring.

Boxing thrives on personality, and the characters are popping up like whack-a-mole.

The Rising Popularity of Boxing

The biggest name in boxing at the moment is a familiar one, Tyson. Tyson Fury was born to be the heavyweight champion.

His father named him Tyson because, from day one, Fury was a fighter. The Gypsy King has made it his mission to destroy his opponents in the ring. He also creates fantastic anticipation before the fights. It was Fury’s first title fight with Deontay Wilder in 2018 that reignited my passion for boxing. I’m not alone; the second fight between the pair was one of the most heavily bet boxing matches of the century.

This trend has led to a vast number of wannabe fighters coming from every angle. It’s even drawn many legit fighters back into the square circle.

The rise in popularity has put boxing at the forefront of many casual bettors’ minds.

That’s fantastic for gamblers. With so many fights, there are plenty of betting opportunities. It’s hard to argue there is a better time in history to be a boxing fan. I’d say boxing is well on its way to being more popular than it’s ever been.

Bettors paying attention to the fighters will be able to catch spots the general public may miss. This extra interest will create enormous opportunities to find value. Allowing you to cash in on some significant wins.

Angling for a Piece of the Pie

Boxing has got a ton of competition at the online sportsbooks. The big three sports of baseball, basketball, and football dominate the action.

Sports bettors can easily add boxing to the mix.

In other sports, it’s advisable to stay away from the favorites and focus on the dogs to provide an immense value.

Boxing differs because the best fighters are often forced to battle lesser opponents. But, this is sports, and we all know that anything can happen. Many fighters have been looking ahead to a higher ranked opponent. This lets the “chump” in front of them catch them off guard. Once you find a fighter, you’re confident in backing, it’s time to place your wager. In boxing, there are several standard bets you can make.

A lot of gamblers opt for the more straightforward method of victory.

For example:
You may bet on YouTube star turned boxer Logan Paul to win by either TKO, KO, or decision.

In other bouts, you may elect to pick the round which your fighter will end things.

For example:
I had a wager on Tyson Fury to finish the Trilogy fight against Deontay Wilder in the third. When Wilder went down in the third, I was off the couch. Unfortunately, he recovered, and the fight continued.

Before you start placing bets in boxing, take time to learn the different types of wagers. Knowing what you’re getting into can significantly improve your odds of making a wise bet.

Conclusion: Sports Bettors Should be Falling in Love with Boxing

Fringe boxing fans are making a more concerted effort to follow the sport.

Many fans are making the leap from UFC fandom to boxing for the more refined appeal of boxing.

Any sports bettor or gambler looking to broaden their horizons will be well suited to give boxing a shot.

Is boxing back on the map as a legit contender for sports bettors?

Absolutely, many would even suggest that it never made its exit. I’m merely happy to have it in the conversation.


Rex Hoffman / Author

Rex Hoffman is a passionate sports writer, with over five years of experience covering sports journalism in line with the Vegas betting landscape. His favorite subjects include football, basketball, and baseball. As a Las Vegas resident, he enjoys finding an edge against the local sportsbooks and aims to share his extensive knowledge with both beginners and experienced bettors. Rex also dabbles in horse racing wagering and enjoys typical casino fare like blackjack and poker in his spare time.

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