Whats the Difference Between TKO and KO in Boxing?


Whether you are a novice or someone introduced to combat sports, it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a KO and a TKO. These two are fairly similar ways of winning a fight, but they are nevertheless different if you look at them carefully even in terms of Boxing Online Betting markets where the odds are slightly different. To avoid confusion, we explain Whats the difference between TKO and KO in boxing.

Whats the difference between TKO and KO in Boxing?

Whats the difference between TKO and KO?

1. Knockout (KO):

The first and most dominant method of victory in a boxing match is knocking down the opponent. A knockout happens when a fighter hits his opponent in such a way that the opponent is unable to continue. 

For Example, consider a bout is in its final round and both fighters are very tired. Then suddenly, a boxer gives a powerful right hook on the jaw of the opponent. Here is Whats the difference between TKO and KO is, if the opponent cannot bear the hook and falls down, Then the referee starts counting down and the opponent is not able to stand. This is the knockout method of winning a fight.

Key Facts to Know about Knockout Method of Victory

A KO, a knockout, is pretty self-explanatory really, but it's when a punch from a fighter knocks his opponent to the canvas, and the fighter who is knocked down is unable to regain their feet and return to a state where they are ready and able to resume boxing before the referee counts to ten.

Sometimes a boxer will get up in time and wish to continue, but the referee must judge whether the fighter has truly recovered sufficiently to safely return to the fight. If not, he will wave it off, ruling it a TKO.

This method of Victory (KO) offers higher payouts in Boxing Online Betting markets.

Finally, though rare, there have been instances where a boxer is so clearly overmatched, with no possibility of winning or even finishing the fight, that a TKO is declared.

2. Technical Knockout (TKO):

A Technical Knockout is quite similar to the knockout and this happens when the referee decides that a fighter cannot continue safely. The Referee makes this decision on the basis of various factors like excessive bleeding in a boxer or he is unable to defend himself. The referee has to step in so that the boxer’s safety is important.

Let us understand Whats the difference between TKO and KO with an example, if Boxer A has landed many jabs and heavy punches to Boxer B Boxer A is still punching the boxer and the referee feels that Boxer B is unable to defend himself and safety purposes, steps to separate the boxer. So, considering the domination of Boxer A, he is declared the winner. This is the technical Knockout way of winning the fight.

Things to remember about the Knockout Method of Victory

A TKO occurs when a referee, or sometimes a ringside physician, declares that one fighter cannot continue the fight safely, according to the standards set for the fight. This can be a situation of being unable to defend themselves due to damage from punches while not actually losing consciousness or falling, referred to as being “out on his feet”.

It can be when a bad cut has opened on a fighter's face, especially above the eye. Sometimes a fighter can be cut badly but still, be otherwise fine, and game to fight, but there's too big a risk in this case and the fight will be stopped, you'll hear people say “Stopped on cuts”.

In some fights, if a fighter is knocked off of his feet 3 times in 1 round, a TKO will be declared even if they can “beat the count”, and in amateur boxing, if a fighter is knocked down 4 times in total over the whole fight, even in different rounds, he's TKO'd. This TKO method of victory in boxing also offers higher payouts in Boxing Online Betting markets almost identical to the KO.

Difference between Allowed & Prohibited Blows

You have the right to hit your opponent in the face (from the front, side, and forehead) and the body (torso and sides). For this, the main punches you can use are:

  • The jab (direct from the front arm)
  • The cross (direct from the rear arm)
  • Uppercuts 
  • Hooks/hooks

Thrown blows must be done with a closed fist and the front part of your glove. For a little more detail, it's with the head of the metacarpals. The first phalanges are also accepted.

You also have the right to clinch with your opponent until the referee separates you. In this case, you must take a step back before waiting for the referee's signal to resume. You can't strike right after you've been separated.

You also do not have the right to:

  • Strike with the inside of your glove, your wrist, the back of your hand, or the side of your hand.
  • Hit your opponent if he/she is on the ground in the ring or if he/she is on one knee.
  • Bite (no, don’t do like Mike Tyson) or spit on your opponent.

In boxing, the prohibited blows are those delivered:

  • In the back
  • In the nape and in the neck
  • In the kidneys
  • Below the belt

It can happen that an involuntary blow lands below the belt. When this is the case, the boxer in front of you has up to 5 minutes to recover. In addition to these 5 identical regulations in amateur and professional boxing, there are others also.

Most number of Knockouts & Technical Knockouts by Boxers

Here are the top five boxers who have scored the most number of Knockouts and Technical Knockouts in their respective boxing career. Their records speak volumes about their legacy and contribution to this sport.

Boxer Name Total Fights Wins Losses Draws KOs/TKOs Career Span
Buck Smith 229 183 20 2 121 22 years (1987-2009)
Sam Langford 314 178 30 38 126 23 years (1903-1926)
Young Stribling 291 224 13 14 129 12 years (1921-1933)
Archie Moore 220 186 23 10 132 27 years (1936-1963)
Billy Bird 356 260 73 20 139 18 years (1920-1948)