Four Tips To Help You Avoid The Knockout – Never Get Knocked Out Again!


How to Prevent Getting Knocked Out!

You know the old saying, if you walk into a shower you are going to get wet, if you walk into the ring, you are going to get hit. Whilst that may be true, what we don’t want is to get knocked the hell out!
Some people say you can’t do anything about getting knocked out, if you have a weak chin then tough luck, you better hope your defence is good enough to block or avoid punches before they land. There are a host of fighters who had great chins, Marvin Hagler and Muhammad Ali immediately spring to mind from the past, and from more recent times, James Toney, Floyd Mayweather Jnr and Gennady Golovkin are known for possessing granite chins. Equally on the other side of the spectrum there are fighters who didn’t have such good chins and were labelled as having ‘weak’ chins, Amir Khan comes to mind here although that’s a little unfair unless you are talking about elite fighters with the worst chins…

Anyway, in this article I am going to go over a few methods you can use to ensure you do not get knocked out, well at least do everything possible to decrease the chances of a KO! There is little worse as a fighter than getting floored and not being able to get back up, there is no shame in getting knocked down, that can happen but make sure you don’t give your opponent the satisfaction of standing over you in victory – get back up!


OK this may sound like basic advice, but you’d be surprised at how often poor fitness results in a knock out. We’ve all seen those fights where the fighters are just so tired they cannot move their head, their hands drop and they can barely move around the ring. Boxing is an extremely tiring sport, the legs are your foundation to your building, if the legs are weak, the building collapses. You must do your running to build up leg strength, this means going for your long runs. There is a certain corner making noise that long runs are not needed any more and sprinting alone is fine but I don’t believe that, you need a combination of both and it is the long runs that build leg strength. As someone who has entered the ring without doing the long running and putting the hard yards in let me tell you your legs will very quickly buckle if you haven’t put those miles in the tank and then it just becomes a matter of survival because once your legs go, you can’t really box either so strengthen your legs with long distance running, the fitter you are the less chance of getting knocked out, the fitter you are, the quicker you recover too which means if you do get knocked down, you will be much better placed to recover from the knock down.


It’s not the hardest punch which knocks you out, it is the punch you don’t see coming. So with that in mind, keep your eyes on your opponent. I like to keep my eyes fixed onto my opponents eyes when fighting, this is because the eyes can often give away what your opponent is going to do, if they are going to throw a body shot their eyes will often drop to your body, if they are going to throw a huge shot or a punch in anger, you will see their eyes widen. By looking at their eyes you are better able to see and anticipate which punches are coming. If you can see a punch coming you can brace for it, if you see it coming you can either roll with it, reducing its power or avoid it completely. If you don’t see the punch coming, even if it is not very hard simply because you are unable to brace for it the punch will stun you. Look at two men I have already mentioned, Floyd Mayweather Jnr and Muhammad Ali, both had 2 of the best chins in history, Mayweather Jnr was never even knocked down in his career let alone knocked out, Ali fought at heavyweight where one punch can end a fight, took on 3 of the biggest punchers in history, Shavers, Foreman, Liston and a host of huge punchers such as Joe Frazier and Ron Lyle yet never was knocked out. Watch both Ali and Floyd fight and you will notice wide eyes, they were always staring straight into their opponents eyes.

If you are an amateur boxer then the Adidas headguard makes a great addition to your boxing.



The deadlift is arguably the best weighted exercise you can do as a fighter. It is great for all around body strength as well as training the core and hips, essential for the hip hinge and explosive punching power. But that’s not all it is great for. The deadlift trains the traps and neck as well, by having a strong trap and neck you are better able to absorb blows from your opponent and prvent the brain from rattling around in your skull when you do get caught with a hard shot. Knockouts often result from the head being rotated when caught with punches, with a strong neck and traps, that ‘whiplash’ effect from getting punched will be minimised thus reducing your chances of getting KO’d. Other exercises such as heavy shrugs and neck rolls are also great to add to the deadlift. Bottom line, if you are boxing, the deadlift needs to be added to your exercise program.


Another obvious piece of advice here but it has to be said. Far too often I see fighters not drilled with the basic moves of knowing how to avoid punches. You must learn how to slip and roll punches, not just block punches with your hands. Add slipping, rolling, ducking into your shadow boxing to make it second nature. Add defensive drills to your routine to get used to moving your head. Drills such as attack/defence where one fighter attacks(at around 50%) and the other fighter defends only. This drill is great because it allows the defensive partner to not only practice head movement, but to learn the ability to recognise each punch which means they will be better able to anticipate which punch is coming because they picked up on tendencies and techniques, for examples when throwing the left hook I might twist my right shoulder to help wind the hook up. It also allows the defender to pick up on patterns, generally you know after a cross you can expect a hook, after a hook you can expect a cross or another hook. Drilling in defensive moves helps you learn all of this as well as sharpening your defence and skills. Keep that chin tucked in, look through the top of your eyes if you are having problems with this, you don’t want to be throwing punches or defending shots with your chin up in the air inviting a punch to the face.

Got work the next day? You might be better off with a face saver headguard which protects your nose and better protects against cuts and bruises.

About the author 


Boxing Coach
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Boxing Author of:

The Boxing Cheat Sheet - Your Ultimate Guide to Ring Survival

Strength and Conditioning for Boxing - Work out Hits to get you Fighting Fit!

Forgotten Legends of the Ring - Ten Past Masters of the Squared Circle

*Any videos or images used on this site to support my articles that are copyrighted are used for educational purposes and in accordance to the fair use act and are not my own - all credit is due to the respective owners. No copyright infringement intended.


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