Throw in the towel

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The traditional admission of defeat in boxing, where a second who feels his boxer cannot or should not continue the bout throws a towel or sponge into the ring to end the fight by a technical knockout. Although it is most often the case the referee does not have to accept this signal from the corner and it is not unheard of for a referee to throw the towel out again and for the bout to continue. A sponge was generally thrown in the older days, now is more common to throw in a towel.