Boxing Knockout Tips

Why is a knockout in boxing important?

Everyone wants a knockout in the ring.

‘Knockout’ is the word on everyone’s lips when it comes to a boxing match. And rightly so, it puts boxers in the spotlight and gives them a notable reputation:

Measured by percentage, here are some stats from the top knockout boxers in history.

  • Edwin Valero: 24 fights – 24 KOs = 100% Knockout rate
  • Marcos Maidana: 26 – 24 = 92% Knockout rate
  • Vitali Klitschko: 38 – 35 = 92% Knockout rate
  • Juan Manuel Lopez: 24 – 22 = 92% Knockout rate
  • Roman Gonzalez: 22 – 20 91% Knockout rate

Read on for some boxing knockout tips and gather insight on how to train and improve your chances of knocking your opponent to the floor.

What is considered a KO in boxing?

5 Knockout Tips

1. Be Quick and Speedy

2. Utilise your Body Weight

3. Leverage the Shoulder Snap

4. Set up the Knockout

5. Be Confident

Boxing referee counting down a knockout in a ring.

What is considered a KO in boxing?

A KO (knockout) is normally given by the referee when a boxer is straight knocked down and out.

Boxers get a knockout out usually due to jaw impact because a hard punch to the jaw causes your head to suddenly spin. Trauma is then caused to the brain due to this quick movement and leaves you unconscious.

A TKO (technical knockout) is applied when the referee declares a fighter unable to carry on due to injuries or not being able to continue fighting.

Ways to knockout an opponent.

There are various ways to throw a hard punch and make your opponent fall down. How this happens depends on the following:

Precision: how to punch ‘hard’ correctly.

Landing a Punch: how to develop a powerful punch to cause the maximum amount of damage

Right Moment: learning the right time to land the punch

Understanding how to place your knockout punch properly is vital because a hard punch of this calibre may end up breaking your own wrist and thumb. Moreover, making sure a follow up deadly counter punch from your opponent doesn’t catch you out if the timing is poor.

Tips for throwing Knockout Punch

So what does it take for real knockout puncher to get the job done?

Before we start telling you knockout tips for boxing, remember…

Size doesn’t matter. Having a massive build doesn’t matter.

It has no significance in knocking someone out in the ring.  

Here are the complete boxing knockout tips to knock your opponent out by throwing an accurate and powerful punch:

1.  Quickness in the punch

One of the most important knockout tips is being quick when fighting in the ring. Your blow could be wasted by sluggish punches. A slow approach will mean your opponent have time to react and defend. So your punch must have quickness and speed. You must have to utilise the speed in your knockout punch.

Quickness in a punch comes from training.

So here’s how you can increase punching speed and agility in boxing.

Muscle Strength: First of all, you need to make your muscles stronger. It can be done by some simple exercises like jumping, sit-ups, push-ups and squatting. Another technique is to punch water in a pool or boxing sandbags repetitively.

Speed in the Punches: Once your muscles strengthen, you need exercises like shadow punching which is to punch in the air around yourself as fast as possible. Your punching speed would be improved as much as you practice it.

Try Some Tools: You can increase your punch speed with boxing equipment like weighted gloves, wrist weights, resistance bands and double end bags.

Strong woman training hard and solo using shadow boxing in dimly lit boxing ring.

2. Utilisation of Bodyweight

The second most important boxing knockout tip is to utilise the weight of your whole body. Like any punch, you cannot knock your opponent out just using your arm.

A knockout artist is the one who utilises his entire body weight to blow his opponent anywhere they want… to the floor of the ring.

Learn to transfer power through your body.

Start from your legs with every punch or any jab you hit, cross or uppercut. The force generated will be much more powerful than using your arm strength alone.

Power is actually developed in the base of the body.

You can transfer this power from your legs through your entire body to your fist using weight transfer. Practice the transference of power to develop a powerful punch.

A tip would be sitting down slightly before punching your opponent. This might help the power transfers from your entire body to the fist with maximum velocity.

Another tip for transferring power is to point your foot towards your opponent when punching with the same hand as the upper body turns inward.

Action shot of amateur boxing fight in the ring.

3. Leverage in the shoulder snap

Leverage in the shoulder is an important knockout tip. Punching your opponent with the leverage you have in the shoulder snap means you can hit your opponent really hard.

Snapping in boxing is a punching technique that uses the elastic energy of muscles and tendons when you are punching. You deliver the punch by using primarily a spring effect. It’s a punching technique with stages:

Relax – when stiff, your punches will more likely be thudding punches. You need to your shoulders for snapping.

Shoulder pop – this is the ‘snap’ and is what gives you extra power and a speed boost.

Freeze – It is not enough just to create tension. Studies support that it is the effective freezing of the chain links of your body that makes the effective release of the tension build-up.

Release – The trick here is not to tighten up muscles in the shoulder, otherwise your punch will push, not snap. The reason is because at the end of the punch you have to explode (tighten your fist and, correspondingly, other joints.) Therefore, the key is not do it too early. This comes with the practice only.

The application of the snapping principle to basic boxing punches comes down to a question how to create the tension properly.

It is just another method to shift your body power to your fist to throw a powerful punch.

4. Set up the Knockout

Basically, in boxing, you are not throwing just one punch to knock your opponent out. You have a strategy that sets up the knockout throughout your fight with an opponent.

Below are some boxing knockout tips for setting this knockout:

Fight by jabbing, using your footwork training, moving around the ring and throwing feints (movement with deceptive intention).

Counterpunch with the right hand and target the chin or temple. These are the right soft spots to knock someone out.

If your opponent misses the punch, you can counter with a right hand to punch to the liver and then to the chin consecutively.

Look for the opportunity to punch your opponent when he is not looking. Also, accurately hitting combination punches to your opponent may knock him out.

Two female boxers in the ring in action one on the offence and one with high guard.

5. Be Confident

The golden rule.

You have to believe in yourself.

Mentally visualising your opponent knocked out in the ring is key to any knockout ability.

“From the neck up is where you win or lose the battle. It’s the art of war. You have to lock yourself in and strategise your mindset.” – Anthony Joshua

“ I’m not the greatest, I’m the double greatest. Not only do I knock ’em out, I pick the round.” Ali

It’s not an easy feat to accomplish but keep practising and you will hit hard and your opponent will hit the floor of the ring.

All the big names are engraved in boxing history, standing over their victims. Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Marciano, Sugar Ray, Jack Dempsey, these champions and legends of boxing all knew how to hit someone hard.

Have you ever knocked someone out in the ring? Let us hear that story. Add your own knockout tips in the comments below.