Are Boxing Matches Fixed? The Truth Behind Final Matches Results


A real boxing fan might have already heard about matches getting fixed, but is this the truth? Are boxing matches fixed, and is this a normal thing to do in the boxing industry? Follow us through many spheres of information in this blog, and you will get a clear answer!

Are Boxing Matches Fixed?

Fixed or Not?

Are boxing matches fixed? The answer is Yes, but you need to understand that the number of matches fixed is really small. Generally, boxing matches, especially high-level competitions, are not fixed, and there is a minimal chance for these matches to be fixed. Not just the high-level matches, the low-level matches’ results are not normally changed too. 

However, some low-level competitions can be fixed for certain reasons, and we will talk about it later in this article.

If you are a boxing fan, you might have already heard about boxing matches getting fixed with a really small number, and you might think the real number is far more than that. But still, there is no reliable proof to decide if boxing matches’ results are changed often.

Why Aren’t Boxing Matches Usually Get Fixed?

Most of the time, the decision to fix a match’s result comes from the individual competitors. The reason is that all of the skilled boxers have to spend a lot of time, effort, and money building up their skills, so they always have pride and confidence in their power and ability to beat the other competitor. 

In this industry, the performance and matches they fight are really important because these factors will decide how much money and fame they can gain. So, when they feel like the results are not fair, they would do all they can to fix it.

So, why aren’t boxing matches fixed? Normally, the people who run boxing matches have to follow strict rules to ensure the fighters’ results are fair. On the other hand, matches should be fair to show respect to the competitors and the fans, and the promoters. 

What Are the Motives for Match-Fixing?

To dive deep into this topic, we should learn about the most common motives for boxing matches getting fixed. There are many motives for match-fixing, and they depend on different circumstances. Here are some:

The Agreements with the Betting Cartels Are Illegal

Betting cartels play an essential role in boxing. However, when the agreements signed with them are illegal, the boxing matches can get fixed. 

Referee Fixing Is Illegal

Refereeing is another reason that makes matches’ results getting fixed. When the referring is not legal or fair, the results can be manipulated.

There is Protest Action

When the rules are not fair or not good enough for the competitors or the fans, there might be protest actions against these rules. In this case, boxing matches might get fixed. 

The Fixing of a Score or a Draw is Illegal

When the fixing of a certain score or draw is illegal, the results can be changed. 

The Tie-Breaking Criterias Are Abused

Ties are needed in many matches to decide who is going to be the winner of the match. However, sometimes the tie-breaking criteria can be abused and manipulated to create an outcome beneficial for a certain individual or team. 

The Play-Off Opportunities for Some Teams Are not Fair

Play-off opportunities are not a new thing to boxing fans, but sometimes, they can be abused to help fix the final results of matches.  

The Outcome is for A-Team or Certain Bettors’ Benefit

This is a bad reality in any sport. Sometimes, the final results of matches are solely for the benefit of a team or certain bettors. If this happens, the other trainers, managers, and fighters can be the ones who manipulate the rules in boxing and fix the results. 

The Prize Sharing is Illegal

In some cases, the illegal prize sharing is the reason for match-fixing. 

These are some most common motives for fixing a match, but there are many more motives to changing the final results in reality.

What Is the Difference Between Journeymen and Negative Match-Fixing?

There are positivities and negativities and most spheres of life, and boxing match-fixing is not the exception. Some reasons for fixing a match are really meaningful because it helps other competitors build their career; some are selfish and should be condemned. Here are the differences between journeymen (positive match-fixing) and negative match-fixing. 

Journeymen – A Legal and Positive Way to Fix a Match

In boxing, there are journeymen – who take the position of the opponent of other boxers to spot their weaknesses and strengths, then help the boxers grow their skills. These boxers are young and talented. However, they might not have the experiences of real fighting and can make some mistakes. 

Journeymen normally get respect from boxers as they are the trainers and the teachers who try their best to help potential boxers to become more skilled and talented. But to be a real fighter, they need to practice and fight in the ring to feel the motive and the adrenaline from inside them, the atmosphere from the crowd, and the whole picture of what real fights look like. 

The boxers cannot get these from a normal training session; it must be in the ring. But as young boxers, they can make so many mistakes and cannot win. In this case, journeymen can try to fix the match’s final result if there are reasonable reasons to do so, and this is completely legal. When these new fighters’ final results are positive, they will have better opportunities in their future career.

Negative Match-Fixing

Unlike journeymen, negative match-fixing falls into a whole different category. Some individuals and corporations are powerful and can use their power to influence the matches for their own benefit negatively. Normally, they are associated with odds betting and organized crime, which can be both unfair and illegal. 

These individuals can influence the referees, trainers, judges, or even the fighter to secretly do what they want in the ring. Not only in boxing, this action is completely illegal or at least unfair in any sport. 

The importance here is to know that journeymen are not involved in these crimes because of their position. They choose to fix a match by choice and are not influenced by unsavory bribes or the outsiders. 

What Are the Famous Matches Fixed in Boxing History?

  • Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon

The fight between Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon still receives different opinions as many people think the fight was fixed, some think it was not. The reason for this is Seldon decided to go down so easily in the first round, and it is so strange as all boxers try their hardest to win the fight. 

However, some people think Seldon quit the fight because he was scared after getting knocked down the first time. And when he got knocked one more time, he looked so scared, and it might be the reason why he gave up so easily.

  •  Many Fights That Were Promoted by Don King

Don King has been suspected of paying the referee and judge so they can manipulate the results in the way he wants. Many people believe that he used to do many shady actions to take advantage of boxers. 

  • Jake LaMotta

Back in more than 100 years ago, Jake LaMotta used to dive Billy Fox for a guaranteed title fight and $20,000. 

Final Words about Boxing Match-Fixing

Are boxing matches fixed? Until this point, we think you already have the answer. Even though matches are fixed sometimes, the motives for it are not always negative. As negative fixing should be condemned and prevented, journeymen or positive match-fixing can be favorable for younger boxers and do not harm any individual.

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