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Fighters Who are Easier to Rob

Boxing Betting: Fighters Who Are Easier to "Rob"

By Loot, Boxing Handicapper,

Anyone who wagers on boxing long enough realizes that bad decisions or other forms of "robbery" are elements of the sport that we can be sure will happen. It's not a matter of if, but when. Sometimes, it will go against us and that will be hard to swallow. At some point, however, it becomes easier to predict. There are certain characteristics that seem to follow most fighters who come out on the short end of a bad call.

Number one is connections. Superstar fighters can be robbed. It happened to Pacquiao. Before that, it happened to De La Hoya, and the list goes on. Generally, however, when you see a fighter get robbed, it's a fighter who is far less connected than the beneficiary of the robbery. The connected fighter is the one with the big-time promoter and manager in his corner. He's the guy who has been on TV before, with a lot of time and money wrapped up in his boxing future.

The boxer who is promoted by a lower-level outfit and with people who have no "juice" in the sport, they are just easier to mess with. When it's over, they'll simply jump back on a plane and disappear from everyone's mind. This is not to imply that all the judges who score fights for the better-known guy are corrupt. It's just the nature of the beast.

Geography has a lot to do with it. You might like a fighter from Ukraine, but if he's in a fighter's hometown from the USA, he's likely going to have whitewash that fighter to get a decision. The same applies to an American fighter trying to take a title from a European on his stomping ground. It's easier to give these guys the bad end of the stick. They aren't from there. Their people aren't guys the locals will have to deal with anymore. The more connected you are, the less likely you are to be mistreated. In a bar fight, a regular at a bar might get more people coming to his defense than a first-time patron.

The more boring a fighter is, the less love he will generally get from judges. There are a lot of fighters who just have that dull vibe. They might win, but it's in a workmanlike way devoid of any real thrills. Their work can just be harder to notice than the more flashy fighters. In addition, scoring against them will create less rifts. No one is particularly sad when such a fighter suffers a a bad decision. A fighter who is a big draw and gets big ratings is less likely to be a victim of chicanery.

Personality can play a role. Some fighters, despite having a big name, are not liked by the majority of boxing people--fans, media, and everyone else involved. By the end of Larry Holmes' reign, he had worn out his welcome and you could just sense boxing people wanted him out of the way. The same happened to Bernard Hopkins. At some point, he became "old and in the way" and the powers-that-be wanted to turn the page.


This can all play a significant role when you are handicapping fights. When betting boxing, you're supposed to be picking good dark-horse fighters--boxers who might be poorly-connected, from a faraway place, or a guy whose style, though effective, can't draw flies. Hitting high-quality underdogs is a telltale trait of any successful bettor of boxing.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't show caution and try to shield ourselves from some of these common pitfalls. When making a bet, ask yourself how easy would it be to screw the fighter you chose. If it seems like it will be something you can count on, maybe look for a better spot. A lot of times, you will hone in on a good underdog--a fighter with tremendous betting value. But if it's a fighter from Oklahoma trying to take a belt in Germany, recalibrate your handicapping. If your fighter doesn't rely on knockouts to win, you might be up against it.

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