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Top Two Reasons Boxing Bets Lose

Top Two Reasons Why Boxing Wagers Lose

By Loot, Boxing Handicapper,

In some boxing bets we lose, we may have handicapped it well, but things just don't work out. That can happen in the sport of boxing, where the guy you bet on is facing a trained pro whose whole essence as a person is to try to win. Other times, we will be able to look at a lost wager and know exactly why we didn't win.

Sometimes, it just sticks out like a sore thumb and you know why you're not cashing a winner. Let's look at two of the more common reasons.

Thinking a Fighter is Finished: This comes up a whole bunch. A lot of times, when we pick a fighter, it's because we feel the opponent has seen better days. The guy you bet against has a name, but you feel his name-power exceeds his actual merit at this point. Be very careful with jumping to conclusions. Just because a fighter has been inactive, has taken a few losses, or just hasn't looked himself lately doesn't mean it's all over.

We may see fighters look terrible as a result of some of those factors, but in other cases, there were reasons for those things other than the fact that they are finished as fighters. A lot of times, that's simply too convenient of a conclusion. Maybe a fighter is inactive healing from injuries and will emerge refreshed from his sabbatical. Perhaps he lost a fight or two, but those were because of stylistic issues that may or may not exist in the fight you are betting.

Fighters can also be different in how they progress in the latter-part of their careers. All fighters get to a point where their best fighting is definitely in the rearview. But not all fighters decline the same way. Some guys fall precipitously and lose their abilities seemingly overnight. Other fighters maintain admirably well, able to cling to close-to-prime form for years. The bottom line is that when you think a fighter is finished and that picking against him is a good idea, think twice. It could just be a mirage.

Placing More Importance on What You See: Boxing is truly an international sport nowadays. Maybe even more than ever, especially with the explosion of world-class talent in Eastern Europe. Often times, you will find yourself betting on a fight between a well-known fighter from your country that you know well and a fighter who you're not terribly familiar with. Even if you follow the sport closely and have heard of all these international fighters, it's natural to place more stock on what you personally witnessed.

What can happen is that you give too much credit to the fighter you know, while undercutting the opponent. You will look at the opponent's record and you may not recognize many of his victims. He may be 35 years old with 19 fights and you figure he isn't very good. Any number of miscues and incorrect generalizations can be made. A good idea is to make sure you scout the guy by watching him in action. You will often find red flags that make you reconsider your original stance.


There was a time in this sport where you could bet with a clear head on the guy you know when he was facing an obscure foreign fighter. But especially here in the United States, the balance of power has shifted dramatically. All weight divisions have top fighters from all over the world. A lot of them were complete unknowns until doing something dramatic to become better-known.

This applies to all levels of the sport, but certainly at the level just below elite--when fighters exact merit is more undefined. This is when there is more jumping to conclusions because while we have an idea of how good a fighter is, we just don't know for sure yet. At the level just before a fighter makes it can be the most dangerous time of his career, where he has to start facing some real opponents. A lot of them will be from places you can barely pronounce. Sleeping on them is something you will do at your own peril. But if recent years have taught us anything, it's that we can't overstate our own knowledge and scope of awareness. While we do our best to follow the sport as closely as we can, there are still diamonds in the rough that are outside our radar.

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