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How TKOs make an impact on boxing bets

A TKO happens when a boxer has sustained a major injury - from a headbutt to a major cut in the face or a dislocated shoulder, among others - and the possibility of the fighter not continuing the fight is imminent.

Published on 20 May 2022

Two fighters going toe-to-toe and looking for that mighty punch to win is the excitement boxing can offer to sports fans and bettors alike. The opportunity to predict who wins between two boxers with almost equal power lures more punters to place their money with the hope of getting a big payday.

Bettors should understand that there are many ways to determine if a fighter emerges victorious in a bout. Aside from a knockout, there is also the technical knockout (TKO) that also provides a significant impact among bookies, particularly in major fights.

Let’s explore the difference between a KO and a TKO, and why a TKO provides a different dynamic to punters who go beyond wins over points or the regular KOs.


Once a boxer sustains a major injury – from a headbutt to a major cut in the face or a dislocated shoulder – the possibility of the fighter not coming back is imminent. Such a situation calls for the other fighter to win by TKO.

Only ring judges, or the ring doctor, can determine if the boxer can still return to the ring and resume the fight before making the call if a TKO decision is necessary.

A KO happens when a boxer drops on his knees and falls and does not stand up after a 10 count. A TKO, meanwhile, comes with the three knockdown rule or if the referee steps in to stop the fight. The fight can also be called a win by TKO if a fighter’s seconds, or his cornermen, decide that their ward cannot continue.


Punters should make sure that the sportsbook he will place his money on has a category where a fighter’s victory via KO, TKO, or disqualification is open for betting. However, you still need to read the bookie’s terms and conditions before betting on your favorite knockout artist to ensure that major payday.

Most of these bets are classified as bets where the boxer wins “inside the distance,” or less than the usual 12 rounds of a professional bout.

Placing a bet on a boxer winning via TKO is actually part of the individual prop bets offered by most bookmakers especially in major title fights. Some bookies separate their betting categories for fighters winning via KO, TKO, disqualification, or in points, among others.


Like other team sports, betting on boxers will be based on the odds placed on them. Fighters who are known for their barrage of punches and fast footwork, from Mike Tyson to Manny Pacquiao, often win their fights inside the distance either through KO or TKO.

Let’s place an example of Tyson fighting Evander Holyfield. Tyson was tagged as a -160, or a favorite, to win, while Holyfield is +130, or the underdog. A bettor who thinks Tyson will win by placing a 100 US dollars bet will get a payout of 162.50 US dollars – his original 100 dollars will be returned along with his 62.50 dollars of winnings.

If you bet on the underdog Holyfield, you will get a 230-dollar payout – you get your 100 dollars back along with your 130 dollars of winnings.

A boxer with overwhelming odds to win may take a bettor to place a lot of money just to win. A punter has to bet 10,000 US dollars to win 100 dollars on a fighter who is a 10,000-point favorite to win among bookies. An example was the fight where Anthony Joshua was a -1100 favorite while Alexander Povetkin was a +650 underdog in their fight in September 2018.


Some fights won’t end up with exciting KOs or TKO decisions most fans (and bettors) hope for. Punters who place their money on victories after 12 rounds should check on different ways to determine if their fighters can claim the victory.

A Split Decision happens when two of the three judges score the same fighter as the winner, while the third judge scores the other fighter as the winner.

If the results on the judges’ scorecards comes out with the same number of points for the two fighters, the bout ends in a draw. A technical draw happens if the referee stops the fight due to an accidental injury or foul before the required number of rounds have been completed for the fight to be decided on the judges’ scorecards – otherwise also known as a technical decision.

Lastly, once a fight is ruled as a No Contest or a No Decision, all bets should be returned by the bookmaker.

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