The sportsbooks keep a close eye on Olympic boxing for several reasons. For one thing, Olympic boxing is picking up in popularity and has become one of the more active events for the betting websites. People who love boxing are starting to realize that international Olympic boxing is a lot more exciting than they thought it was.
The other reason that the online betting sites follow Olympic boxing so closely is because the next great professionals usually start off in the Olympics. Professional boxing is in desperate need of a charismatic and popular heavyweight champion. Many of the betting experts look to the Olympic boxers to see who the next great professional fighter will be.
Unfortunately, the heavyweight ranks in this year's Olympic boxing competition is not very promising. It looks like heavyweight boxing will have to wait longer for its next unifying champion to arrive. But there are some interesting fighters in the other ranks that could go on to promising professional careers.
Vasyl Lomanchenko is a name that boxing fans will be hearing for the next several years. He is a Ukrainian lightweight that is already well-known on the best sports betting sites in the world. He is an odds-on favorite to win gold in the lightweight division and he intends to use the Olympics to help pave the way for his professional career. He is not flashy, but he can be extremely punishing for a lightweight.
Oleksandr Usyk in another Ukrainian fighter that is not quite as popular as Lomachenko, but he is projected to be a medalist in the heavyweight division. As with most of the other Ukrainian heavyweights before him, Usyk is a pounder that likes to go toe to toe with his competition. He may not quite have what it takes to win gold in this year's Olympic tournament, but he does show the promise of a successful professional career.
The Chinese Olympic boxing team has been steadily improving, and amateur champion Zou Shiming is one of the cornerstones of the Chinese team. Shiming is a 2008 Olympic silver medalist in the light flyweight division, but he has something to prove in 2012. Most of the online sports book experts had Shiming as a gold medal favorite in 2008, but an injury late in the 2008 Olympics forced Shiming to settle for the silver. In 2012, Shiming is determined to show that his multiple world amateur titles do translate into Olympic gold.
The host country always needs a hero to root for and Tom Stalker is the best boxer that the Brits have in the tournament. Stalker is a middleweight that has won silver medals in the past two world amateur competitions. He may not be able to take the gold in 2012, but he should give the home fans a thrill and a silver medal to talk about as well.