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Keeping Track of Your Observations

Boxing Betting: Keeping Track of Your Observations

By Loot, Boxing Handicapper,

Part of being boxing bettors is that we are fans. We watch a lot of fights. And during our viewing, we can't help but to make observations about the fighters we see. We notice a guy throws a sloppy right hand. We point out that he seems lost during sequences of infighting. Or perhaps he doesn't throw punches for the rest of the round after getting nailed to the body. We will notice a ton of things.

Unless we record our thoughts and insights, however, they are likely to evaporate into thin air. Sure, we may remember a key point here and there, but the specific things we notice are likely to be utterly forgotten by the time that fighter next steps into the ring. It's just not easy to remember thoughts when we have a million different ones in between a fighter's appearances.

A boxer who is good enough to fight on TV will probably fight two or three times a year tops. If we see a guy is a sucker for an uppercut, are we going to remember that 6 months later? We can be a good friend to ourselves in the arena of boxing wagering, but we need to be able to make it count.

Simply put, you should record all your observations. It can be a pain. You want to sit there and watch the fights and enjoy them as a fan. But remember, we're not merely fans anymore, we're betting men now. What makes a good fan aren't the same things that make a good bettor, so we need to be able to make the transformation.

Keep a notebook handy and start developing a "book" on different fighters. We don't need to keep track of hundreds of guys. Of all the fighters who are even in fights considered big enough to be on the betting board, how many are there really? 100? So have a notebook and dedicate a page for each fighter and start noting things that will give you an edge the next time that fighter steps into the ring.

This sport is about match-ups. Understanding the different match-ups requires a wealth of information. We might know without looking at any notes what makes a fighter good, or even some of the things that do well and not so well. That's the more elementary stuff. We want to get into the nuts and bolts of the match-ups. The things that help us win bets lie more between the lines. In other words, they aren't things that we can easily recall.

Styles make fights. The tendency of the general betting public is judge fighters on an abstract scale of excellence. They rate one guy a 92 and an another guy a 78, so naturally the guy with the higher score wins. Fights usually come down to something other than that. It comes down to what fighter do well or poorly--and how those specific areas of talent match-up with the opponent.

Note all things that could influence the outcome of a fight. Point out the best weapons of a fighter, but also account for his weaknesses. And try to hone in on a guy's liabilities before they become exploited. You might see a guy is a sucker for a certain punch even if he's not getting hit with it in the fight you're watching. You might see a guy freeze when the action gets too heated, even though he's facing an opponent who is unable to exploit it.

Also account for other data that could influence a fight beyond the obvious. It doesn't always come down to jabs, crosses, and hooks. You might notice things like a fighter is far more conservative when facing bigger-name opponents. A guy's name-power leaves him a bit flummoxed. Or you might notice a fighter doesn't respond well to being cut. Perhaps he is unable to get his offense untracked against a fighter who doesn't come to him. Or maybe a fighter is solid in defending against conventional punches, but tends to get hit a lot when facing an unruly boxer who wings shots from all angles. It can be anything.


When you notice something like that, jot it down. It literally takes just a few seconds. Starting is the hardest part. You will soon build up a book of observations. Those thoughts are like weapons when we later make wagers on those fighters. This doesn't mean you have to be a reporter. You can still watch the fights unimpeded. Don't go out of your way looking for stuff, but when it is jumping off the screen and squarely in your radar--write it down. You'll thank yourself later.

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