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Boxing Betting: Fight To Go The Distance

A much-loved and entertaining sport, boxing provides plenty of betting opportunities and is very popular amongst punters. Boxing is a combat sport where two fighters compete within a predetermined timeframe with the aim of knocking their opponent down, stunning them enough that they are unable to resume fighting. It is one of the oldest sports that is still played today and is fairly simple to understand. With a number of fighting rules in place and a wide range of weight classes, fights are fair and competitive, providing an excellent opportunity for betting.

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One of the possibly more overlooked but worthwhile betting markets in boxing is the ‘to go the distance’ market. This is a relatively straightforward market that can be utilised by both seasoned and amateur punters. If this is a market you are looking to place a wager on, check out our strategies to make the most of your bet.

What Does Go The Distance Mean In Boxing?

The first thing to understand about boxing is that each bout has a number of rounds that are scheduled prior to the fight. The maximum number of scheduled rounds a fight can have is 12. This was previously 15 but was reduced in the 1980s for safety reasons. While the maximum may be 12, this is only used for the most experienced boxers. Typically, you will find that the number of rounds scheduled for a fight is less than this.

A boxing match can end before the scheduled number of rounds has been reached if an event occurs that ends the match, for example, a knockout. However, if the boxers go on to fight all scheduled rounds then this fight has gone the distance. In this instance, the winner of the match is determined by the number of points each boxer has earned.

How The ‘To Go The Distance’ Market Works

The to go the distance boxing betting market is quite an easy one to understand with only two outcomes. With this market, you are simply betting on whether you think the match will go the distance or whether you think it will finish before the final round due to things like a KO, stoppage, disqualification, retirement or anything else that might cause the fight to end.

Often you may find that the odds on other markets like outright winner, for example, don’t hold a lot of value. This is because while a boxing match may seem like a fair fight from afar, boxing promoters employ matchmakers whose job it is to ensure a fight is matched with the chances against the fighter making their way up the ranks, meaning it’s likely for one fighter to have a much higher chance of winning than the other. This is why the to go the distance market can be more valuable in terms of betting odds because it is a more levelled market with more influencing factors.

Market Rules

With all betting markets, there are rules, or terms, to be aware of that could impact the outcome of your bet. As the to go the distance market is a straightforward one, there is only one rule to be aware of before placing your wager. This rule is that if the scheduled number of rounds should change from the number originally stated, this market becomes void.

This mainly comes into play for packages aired live where fights can become time-dependent. For example, if there are six fights scheduled but the first two fights last only one or two rounds, the broadcast will have a lot of time to fill. To ensure that time is filled, organisers will have ‘filler fights’ that are only played as and when they need to fill a timeslot. If they anticipate that a lot of time will need to be filled then these fights could originally be scheduled for six rounds. However, if it turns out they have less time than this, the scheduled rounds could be changed to three.  

Betting Strategies For The To Go The Distance Market

Before placing a bet at a bookmaker on this market, the first thing you are going to want to do, as with all types of sports betting, is research. There are a wide number of things you can look at to help you make an informed decision as to whether or not the fight is likely to go the distance. Here are some strategies you can adopt to give you the best chance of a successful bet.

Consider the number of rounds

Arguably the most important piece of information to know before betting on this market is the number of rounds scheduled for the fight. The maximum number of rounds a boxing match can have is 12. Fights can have as low as four rounds, with the number increasing depending on the boxer’s weight class and experience level.

As mentioned above, it is also a good idea to consider whether or not the match you are betting on is the type of fight that could have its number of rounds changed before the match starts.

Look at the weight class

The weight class of the boxers participating in the fight plays a larger role than just influencing the number of rounds. Heavyweight, the highest weight class in professional boxing, has the highest percentage of knockouts when compared to other classes. Fights between heavyweight boxers have a 73% of ending via a knockout, meaning that there is just less than a 1 in 4 chance that the fight will go the distance – not great for betting on in this market.

However, the strawweight class, the lightest professional weight class has the lowest percentage with only a 49% chance of the fight ending by way of a KO or TKO. This means that there is a 51% chance of the fight going the distance – a much better probability to bet on.

This doesn’t mean that you should only bet on strawweight fights to go the distance. Every fight and boxer pairing is different and there of plenty of other factors that could influence the outcome. However, knowing these probabilities will give you a good starting point if you ever go into a bet blind without any knowledge of the boxers or the fight.

Research fighting styles

Knowing the fighting styles of the boxers participating in the match is crucial to this type of bet as it can have a huge impact on the outcome. The perfect scenario to almost guarantee the fight will go the distance is for the boxers to be people who rarely get knocked out and rarely knock other fighters out. Of course, with the nature of boxing, this perfect combo isn’t often available. Therefore, knowing the fighting styles of each boxer can help you determine the likelihood of the match going the distance.

One key thing to look out for when researching a boxer’s fighting style is are they a boxer or a slugger? A slugger is known for big bouts of power and typically fight with the intention of getting it over with as quickly as possible. Deontay Wilder is a prime example of this fighting style. Alternatively, a boxer uses a more refined skillset with a precise technique that only requires them to do what is needed without over exerting themselves. A boxer who used this technique was Floyd Mayweather.

Determining which category a boxer falls into is important as a slugger is more likely to knock out his opponent, whereas a boxer has a greater chance of going the distance.

Boxer records and accomplishments

Another thing to look at is the performance records of each boxer in the match. These records allows you to find out things like head-to-head performances, a fighter’s win, loss and draw record, and the number of rounds a fighter completes on average.

It can also be a good idea to look at the age and experience of the fighter. Fighters are at their athletic prime between the ages of 15 and 33. While age is not always an influencing factor on its own, it is worth coupling this with any other information you have found out about the fighters.

Betting On The Market

Once you have done your research and you know everything there is to know about the fighter’s history, fighting style and weight class as well as the scheduled rounds for the match, you are ready to predict whether or not the match will go the distance.