Boxing for Bucks

Many people I know in the sports gaming industry take one look at Boxing as a wagering option and then look the other way. I choose the road not taken by others and love to wager on the outcome of these pugilistic battles, and do so very profitably. So why shouldn’t you follow the same route?Recreational gamblers and critics of betting on Boxing look at the often high lines and wonder how there can be any value in placing a wager on such an event. The “questionable” outcomes of certain bouts also steer many investors clear of the squared circle.

However, in it’s pure and fine form, boxing is the most primal and simple sports for wagering purposes and it is a sport is heating up with highly competitive bouts almost every week or two, especially in the lighter weight classes. The masses that make up the general public are casual boxing fans and only pay attention to the sport when a Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones Jr. or even Evander Holyfield are involved. If we look further though, the real entertainment and value often comes from the fights that not everyone may be familiar with or watching. The talent pool of solid fighters in the game includes, but is certainly not limited to, the likes of Fernando Vargas, Mark Johnson, Floyd Mayweather, Marco Antonio Barrera and Tim Austin – we could go on and on. Rather than focus on these great men the public eats up dirt on Iron Mike and his woes, Evander and his hypocritical lifestyle or the iron fisted Ike Ibeabuchi. Make no mistake, a guy like Ibeabuchi is one tough nut – but he’s a nut nonetheless. Even within the ‘infested’ heavyweight division there are good, honest, hard-working men like Lennox Lewis, Jameel McCline, Kirk Johnson and the Klitschko brothers to gain our attention, but we look elsewhere.

On to the matter at hand . . . making money from it all.

Boxing provides great value because the number of variables which cannot be accounted for prior to a bout are far fewer than any other wager type. The number of variables that can’t be accounted for are so insignificant that they almost don’t exist – nearly everything is known. If the handicapper can correctly interpreted all the information available then lofty win percentages and great profits are available all year long. In the NFL we see many bad calls made by officials last season, in the NHL we see referees making suspect calls which change the momentum of games and also affect Totals when power plays goals add to the mix. A football is anything but round nor is a puck, so bounces often affect an outcome and one can’t predict the way the bounces. That is simply impossible. Basketball provides a seemingly simpler game to prognosticate but there are 7-8 players on each team who can ruin, or make, your wagering investment. In Football the number of players is multiplied many times and hockey teams play with a 24-man roster. Rather than be at the mercy of someone stinking the joint out or catching fire, we only have two combatants in the ring and this makes our handicapping equation that much simpler.

There is never a rain-out in Boxing nor can the ‘playing surface’ affect that outcome of a boxing event. The ‘field-of-play’ is never a factor in Boxing like it is in other sports. Every Hockey rink is unique in the NHL and so are Baseball diamonds across the major leagues. The Green Monster, Wrigley Field, the plastic bags in the Metrodome and basically every other park where major league ball is played can present different factors for a bettor. Fly ball pitchers versus a ground ball batting order when the wind is blowing out – or is it blowing in now? Then there are the playing fields which are different in ever city and we haven’t taken into account cold or extreme weather, rain, grass and turf to factor in with park dimensions. The ring is always square in boxing and most bouts are held in climate-controlled facilities. It can’t be simpler.

I have to cover ‘questionable decisions’ in boxing but it too can be accounted for in our handicapping methodology. A prime example that comes to mind is Oscar De La Hoya bout with Ike Quartey a few years back did anybody believe that the Golden Boy could lose a close call? No way. If a suspect scoring call can be made in any fight we know before the bout who is going to get that edge. Champions always are looked at in a way that any challenger has to take the title away from he who holds the belt. Location also plays apart in this intangible factor. Put it this way, had the Lewis-Holyfield (Part 1) taken place in London, England who would have got the call from the judges? We know that Lewis would have.

Having expertise in the ring and knowing fighters as well as anyone can helps me predict the outcome of a fight. I base my analysis on styles, current form while prognosticating the opponents’ strengths and weaknesses and how those will all play out. We made a tidy profit on the Johnny Tapia-Jorge Elicier Julio bout based simply on the style that each fighter carried into the ring. Elicier is a come-forward type but without much pop. Tapia is a solid counter-puncher with some power and we figured Elicier would be coming in and have Tapia time him all night long – exactly what transpired. Bernard Hopkins over Antwun Echols was another classic case of styles making a fight. You may have never heard of Antwun Echols or Jorge Elicier Julio but you don’t need to – you just need to follow our call and enjoy the fight. A true Boxer always holds the edge over a power Puncher and you have to know who fights which style to financially benefit from the outcome of Boxing events.

Every smart bettor knows that even a 57% win rate over 200 events will yield a much greater profit than an excellent 60% handicapping rate over 100 events. We are constantly looking for ways to expand our bankroll and Boxing is another avenue for us to do just that. More action means more profit to the bottom-line. Anytime a bettor has the opportunity to add a few units to the bottom-line with a positive financial expectation they should grab it. The Boxing ‘season’ is another great advantage for us because it never ends. There is always action to keep us keen and sharp – no spring training or mid-season slumps, no playoffs – it always counts in the ring with everything on the line.

The profits you haven’t been realizing will pad your bankroll in a way you have been missing out on for years. Boxing for Bucks is what it’s all about!

Brent Lancaster

Brent Lancaster is a former boxer and chief boxing correspondent to Brian Gabrielle Sports. Brent makes his home in the offshore betting capitol of the world in San Jose Costa Rica where he is one of the most respected handicappers (and bookmakers) in the business. Brent also covers NHL and Arena Football for Brian Gabrielle Sports.</td>

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