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Common Terms Used in the Fight Ring

“Parry with your left then jab with your right!”,”We’ll be throwing in the towel unless you stop taking the punches and give a combination!” Are these conversations familiar? Are they making sense to you? If not, then here is a definition of the terms and phrases that you will commonly hear in boxing and MMA fights.

Below the Belt – the area of the body that lies below the belt line, which is not supposed to be hit. The area covered the crotch, the genital area, and the legs.

Bolo punch – a flashy sweeping uppercut with less power, thrown more out of a show or as a distraction.

Bout – a match that is consist of rounds with one minute break.

Clinch – a match wherein the fighters hold each other.

Combination – a series of punches that is thrown in sequences.

Counterpunch – a punch thrown after the opponent delivers his blow that creates an opening for the other fighter to make a counter attack.

Dirty Fight – attacks that are considered illegal such as elbowing, deliberate head-butting, making late punches, stepping on opponent’s foot, and holding an opponent’s head down and hitting his face and ribs.

Hook – a powerful sideway punch delivered with the elbow bent to form a hook.

Infight – a fight in close range.

Knockdown – a blow that delivers a fighter off his feet with the other parts of his body touching the floor.

Knockoff – a match wherein the favoured or the popular fighter gets defeated.

Knockout or KO – a blow that renders a competitor unconscious or unable to get up without assistance.

Liver Punch – a quick left hook targeted to the liver, delivering the most injurious assault.

Majority Decision – a winning criterion in which two of the three judges agree to declare one fighter a winner.

Majority Draw – a winning criterion in which two of the judges call the match a draw, i.e. tied scorecards, while the third judge has one clear winner on his scorecard.

No Decision – a fight, in which no winner is declared.

Parry – a move aimed to avoid an opponent’s attack using the gloves to slap away the punch.

Rabbit Punch – an illegal attacked targeted at the back of the head or neck.

Split Decision – a winning criterion in which two of the judges score for the same fighter as the winner, while the third scores for the other. Example 117-113, 117-113, 114-116

Split Draw – a criterion in which one judge scores for one fighter, the other judge favours the opponent, and third scores the match even. 117-113, 114-116, 113-114,

Technical Decision (TD) – a term used to refer to an event wherein the referee declared to stop a fight after the fourth round has been played because of a headbutt, accidental foul, or some other circumstances that necessitate the match to be ended. A TD is usually awarded to the boxer who is leading the score cards.

Technical Draw – a term used when a match has to be stopped when an unintentional foul causes an injury. A fight will result to such if the injured fighter is even or behind the score cards.

Technical Knock Out (TKO) – a winning criterion in which the referee intercedes and stops a match when one of the fighters are taking too much cuts and bruises and is not able to continue with the game or defend himself.

Throw in the Towel – an act in which the chief second of a fighter will throw in the towel or sponge inside the ring as a sign of giving up the match or acknowledging defeat.

Unanimous Decision – a winning criterion in which all of the three judges agree on a winner.

Undercard – a set of matches that take place before the main event.

Upper Cut – a blow thrown in a close range usually targeting the jaw or the solar plexus.

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