What Does TKO Mean in Boxing?

In boxing, TKO stands for the term technical knockout. A technical knockout is when the referee stops the boxing match to declare a winner. This could be due to severe injury of one or both boxers, for example.

A TKO is sometimes confused with a simple knockout, or KO. While the terminology is similar, the meanings are quite different. As opposed to a TKO, a KO is called when a boxer cannot get up, without assistance, off the floor of the ring after being knocked down. After being knocked down, the referee gives the boxer a 10 count to get off the floor. If he is unable to do so, the other boxer wins by KO.

Knowing some other simple boxing terms may help to make a match more enjoyable for fans. Some examples are:

  • Flash knockdown - a boxer is knocked down but gets back up before the referee begins the 10 count
  • Draw - both boxers earn the exact same number of points from the judges
  • Hook - a powerful punch delivered with a bent, or hooked, arm
  • Knockdown - a boxer is knocked to the floor, or onto the ropes, by the other boxer; the referee then begins the 10 count
  • Mandatory eight count - any boxer who has fallen must take a mandatory count of eight by the referee, which helps the referee decide if he is able to safely continue the match