In modern boxing, a Technical Knock Out
, or stoppage
, occurs very often and comprises several different situations. If a fighter is taking a severe beating, especially with many clean punches to the head, the referee will stop the fight if he feels the boxer is in danger. If a boxer is not defending himself
or fighting back
then the ref will stop it. If a fighter has a severe cut, very often the ref will request the ringside
doctor to look at it. If the doctor feels it would be dangerous for the fighter to continue the ref will stop the fight. If this injury occurred due to a punch this stoppage will result in a TKO
. If it occurred because of an accidental headbutt
, or other accident, they will usually go to the scorecard
s depending on the rules
being used. If a fighter is knocked down three times in one round and the three knockdown rule
is in effect it is a TKO. Almost no one uses the three knockdown rule though (at least not in professional boxing). If a boxer's corner jumps into the ring requesting the fight be stopped then the ref will stop the fight. This is sometimes called throwing in the towel
, but towels are rarely thrown anymore.
If a fighter breaks enough rules for the ref to stop the fight he is disqualified, or DQ'd. If a fighter is knocked down and does not get up by a count of ten, or looks dazed after getting up it is a knockout, or KO. If there is an accidental injury the fight will end as either a no contest or a decision depending on the rules being used. Any other kind of stoppage was probably a TKO. TKOs and KOs are combined together as KOs in a boxer's record and, for the most part, are considered the same.
In modern boxing, most KOs on a fighters record were actually TKOs. No one wants to see someone take a beating like Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull, or The Italian Stallion in Rocky. One of the most important jobs of the referee is to make sure the fighters are safe. Therefore, when a fighter is in real trouble the ref will award a TKO to prevent a true, dangerous knockout from occurring.
Unfortunately, even the increased use of the TKO has not prevented ring death
s. I have seen one televised fight after which Beathaven Scotland died from his injuries. Also, recently Leavander Johnson
, a fighter I was very familiar with, died after his fight on a PPV
undercard. The circumstances in both cases were the same. The fighter took a continuous beating over the course of many rounds. At no point did the boxer look to be in severe trouble and if they went down they got right back up. The referee in both cases made the right decision, under the current rules, to let the fight continue. Extremely sudden and violent knockdown/knockouts rarely lead to death or even injury.
This is a major concern for the boxing world and I'm sure they are trying to find a way to better judge this condition. This will almost certainly lead to a heavy increase in TKOs. Refs will have to consider the accumulation of punches the fighter has taken and sometimes stop lopsided fights even though the criteria above are not met.