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What do Boxing have in common with Poker?

There are some associations you rarely think of, simply because both elements have seemed so far away from each other. But that can be just an illusion. If you see boxing as only punches being thrown, until someone falls on the ground, then you probably have no clue why boxing can be linked to poker. Keep reading, and you will discover that similarities do apply, between the two activities.

  1. Linked through their History

For a long time, important matches have taken place in some of the most famous casinos around the world, especially on the strip, in Las Vegas. This is also where poker is played at the highest level, for professionals, but also amateurs. Now that things are changing and that people tend to play on an online casino website, the link is still there, as often people can also bet on the boxing matches, in these new online establishments.

They are also both part of the world of “Big Money.” When you talk about major fights, there is always a very large sum awaiting the winner. It is the same with professional poker players. These are glittering worlds, where everything seems bigger. There is a fantasy attached to both, that is very similar for one another, and that is greatly due to the fact that they are attached to the same universe of casinos. There will always be people looking to make money in online casinos, which explains the popularity of poker and many of the same people will also catch the fights on the same websites, so they can bet on them. 

  1. A Deeper Connection

If you analyze the players that take part in poker games and those that take on boxing, you will quickly understand that there is a deeper connection between them than just the high potential gains they can make from their activity. It has to do with the relation that they have with their adversary. In both cases, the will to win is necessary to arrive at the very top. And to get there, some of the strategies are the same, as we will now see.


How you look is a big part of both of these worlds. In fact, there is a certain extravaganza around boxing and poker, that is part of the show. As if the fact of looking like a normal person will place you in an unfavourable position, in front of your opponent(s). You also have to look rich, so that you look superior, as well. In the face to face before the match or tournaments, there is always a lot of playfulness that goes on between everyone. They are actors in a scene directed towards the public, but also to their adversary.


Those that understand the technical side of their activity more in depth, in both boxing and poker, will usually be better than the others. You need to be a student of your work, at all time. For boxers, it translates into watching previous matches, that the opponent took part in, as well as some from the greatest boxers of all time, to learn some of the trick that they used, when they fought. The same is true for poker players. They need to learn their trade as best they can, by researching all that is available on the subject. Most importantly, they also need to look at previous tournaments, to acknowledge the tricks of his adversaries, but also to find new ones to add to their arsenal.


That is certainly one of the most important elements in a poker game. If you don’t know how to bluff, you will never be a great poker player. It is the one thing that you need to be able to pull, every once in a while, to completely turn the game around in your favour. In boxing, it is also a tool that the great boxers use against their opponent. By letting them believe that they are getting weaker, they can have them open up on offense, leaving them more vulnerable on defense. Since they believe that their adversary is much weaker now, they can become a little too loose in their movements, which will cause a breach that the other will enter, in order to try to knock them out of the match.

Any game that people play, whether one-on-one or as a team, always involves strategies. And so, boxers and poker players are in large part strategists. Boxing is not only about throwing punches, nor is poker only about accumulating cards. You need to be able to think about your next move, no matter what’s left on the table for you.

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: