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Boxing Betting: Key Gambling Tips

Boxing Betting: Key Gambling Tips

By Loot, Boxing Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Chronological Age vs. Ring Age

A fighter's actual age and his "ring age" can be quite different. How else do you explain that Light Heavyweight Champion is still going strong at 47, while a fighter like Meldrick Taylor is finished at 25? Because chronological age is a poor indicator of true wear and tear. Many factors contribute to a fighter either remaining fresh or becoming quickly depleted. And that number you see under "age" doesn't really explain anything.

The Bernard Hopkins/Meldrick Taylor Example

Bernard Hopkins learned the finer points of defense over his long career. His offense, while excellent, never really jumped out and grabbed your attention. Because his game was more well-rounded. He slipped punches, he used his opponents' strength against them, and after a quarter-century in the sport--has yet absorb anything resembling a butt-whipping. And despite his ties to Philadelphia, he never took any of the gym beatings that city is famous for.

Meldrick Taylor, conversely, never depended on ring science, but rather his sheer athletic ability. His hands were absolutely blinding-fast, which maybe served to blind us from his shortcomings. His speed was really his defense and he was so good that we ignored some troubling signs--how he sponged punches, how his defense was negligible, and how he didn't roll with punches and absorbed their full brunt. And he was too macho for his own good, battling it out in the gyms of Philly and trading with fighters he should have been using his legs against.

Mayweather-Cotto

We saw that Mayweather was 35 and Cotto was 31 when they fought, which leads us to assume that "Money May" is the older fighter. Maybe in years, but in terms of ring age--Cotto was much older. Whereas Mayweather has used science to beat everyone put in front of him, Cotto has fought a never-ending series of tough fights. He took two conclusive beatings in defeat and even the fights he won were often draining encounters. It goes to show that looking at their chronological age only tells part of the story.

Southpaws

It's no secret that fighting southpaws can be quite problematic, even for fighters who appear to be far superior. When a fighter who you are going to bet on is facing a southpaw, you would like to see that he has a proven track record. Sometimes, a fighter will not have faced many if any southpaw fighters and that should give you pause. You would at least like to see that he had an extensive amateur career where he would have faced many lefties. Or maybe he is part of a gym where he can get some high-quality sparring from southpaws.

Southpaws do everything backwards. A right-handed fighter might actually find more punching opportunities, but the punches coming in return can cause problems. The power hand is coming where the jab hand normally comes from. You normally get a little warning when punches come from the opponent's right side, but against southpaws, those punches come quicker.

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Study the offensive tendencies of the fighter with whom you want to wager. Is he highly reliant on the left jab? If so, that punch is more difficult to land against southpaws, whose right hand is right in front and in good position to block it. At the same time, a fighter with a big left hook to the body can perhaps land that punch more easily against a left hander, whose right side of body is more available. In addition, an orthodox boxer with a big straight right hand can often sneak that shot in better against a southpaw.

Habitually Fouling Fighters

You need to be aware of who the flagrant rule violators are when you're betting for or against a fighter. If you're betting on a fighter, fouls can lead to point-deductions or even a disqualification. When betting against a fighter, you might be the victim of fouls that are not seen or properly accounted for by the referee. If you bet on Joseph Agbeko against Abner Mares, you saw this type of pitfall first-hand. Mares rained dozens of blown on the groin of Agbeko and the referee stunningly disregarded it.

Some fighters' fouling is more subtle than just pelting an opponents' groin. They use their heads. Not in the way of being thoughtful, but literally. There is always a fighter whose head is a serious weapon. Technically, it's illegal to ram the top of your head into your opponent's face. But it can be a foul that is extremely hard to call a fighter out on--as it usually looks like a normal part of the action. Fighters of the past like Marvin Hagler and Evander Holyfield were quite adept at incorporating their head into their repertoire. Today, the best practitioner of this practice is Timothy Bradley. When betting against fighters who use their head as a weapon, account for that component in your handicapping.

The Watered-Down World of "Titles"

It can be quite misleading for an outside observer to decipher the vortex of world titles in the sport of boxing. In the old days, there were less weight classes and only one champion. Now, there are weight classes separated by just a few pounds. Worse than that is the plethora of men who at a given time can all claim to be "champion." In the 80's, the concept of a world champion became diluted, with 3 and then 4 "champions" in each weight class.

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But even that wasn't enough. Now you have single organizations claiming multiple champions within the same division. There are "regular champions," "interim" champions, "super champions," and it never ends. It has devolved to the point where even astute observers of the sport have given up on trying to keep track of it all. It is so convoluted that it is now basically up to the individual to determine who the "de facto" champion is and disregard the sanctioning body madness.

When betting on boxing, it can be quite difficult to make sense of it all. You see fighters taking part in so-called world title bouts and are forced to determine the genuine worth of it. There are fighters who are not even in anybody's top-ten who are fighting in bouts that are officially termed "world title" fights. Something happens in our heads when we see a fight was contested for a so-called world title. We think that fight must be a high-stakes contest between really good fighters. But you're better off analyzing the quality of fighters themselves and forget about the world title implications--unless you can determine which world championship are legitimate and which are merely world title bouts in name only.

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