|“||It's okay, Katy. But I have been thinking, and... I should have stood up for Xandra last night. I'm just so used to being Team Katy, and... I guess old habits die hard. I do want to be friends with you. I hope you get that apprenticeship.||”|
KO is an amateur boxer and bodyguard. He is Katy's ex-boyfriend. They dated for ten years before asking Katy to marry him, but she turned down his proposal, which put a strain on their relationship, ultimately resulting in their breakup.
- 1 Character Description
- 2 Early Life
- 3 Throughout Katy Keene
- 4 Throughout Riverdale
- 5 Physical Appearance
- 6 Personality
- 7 Relationships
- 8 Appearances
- 9 Trivia
- 10 Gallery
- 11 References
A boxer with two goals in life: to fight a welterweight championship in Madison Square Garden and to marry his longtime girlfriend, Katy Keene. Born and raised in Queens, Ko is a humble, protective, salt-of-the-earth guy who makes ends meet as a personal trainer and a bouncer.
Every year, Katy and KO go to Coney Island to commemorate their first date, when he told Katy that his life’s ambition was to be a boxer and fight at Madison Square Garden. Katy fell in love with KO on the Wonder Wheel that day, and they’ve been together ever since.
One time, a train broke down and Katy was stuck walking home for 50 blocks in heels. Luckily for her, KO came to her rescue; he picked her up off her feet and walked her home. Ever since they started dating, KO has always been there for Katy, such as when he installed an AC unit in her bedroom on the hottest day of the summer and comforted Katy when her mom was sick. And after Katy’s mom passed away, KO’s family became her family.
Throughout Katy Keene
Proposal for Marriage
KO wakes up earlier in the morning in the apartment and finds his girlfriend Katy sewing clothes. He asks if she stayed up all night sewing, which she did. He tells her to start charging for her services, but Katy sews because she loves her craft, not for financial gain. KO tells Katy to call in sick so that they can spend the day together, but she’s meeting her new roommate today. Katy then gets a call from her boss Gloria Grandbilt, who calls her into work for a fashion emergency. Katy kisses KO goodbye and tells him that she loves him.
At the local nightclub Molly's Crisis, that night, KO meets with his friends, kisses Katy, and is introduced to Josie. KO works as a bouncer at the club. He asks if Gloria gave her the job. Katy tells him not yet. Gloria is making her sweat for it.
The next day, Katy informs him of the recent events and works and tells KO how she won over the prince by charming his girlfriend, which led to Lacy’s single biggest sale of the year. KO got some news today. Joe Frazier’s gym in Philadelphia called him after his name had been on a waiting list for some new fighters, and they’re interested. KO suggests moving to Philadelphia, but Katy doesn’t want to leave Lacy or New York. He tells her that they don't have to make any decisions until after they find out if she got the personal shopper promotion.
The following night, Josie performs at Molly’s Crisis, as Katy, Pepper, and Ginger cheer her on from the crowd. KO arrives and he takes Katy to get a bite to eat, during which time he asks if they’re moving to Philly. Even though she didn’t get the promotion, Katy wants to stay in New York to pursue designing as a career. Meeting Josie and watching her pursue her dreams made Katy want to do the same. And she wants KO to follow their lead, suggesting that he go to Philly without her, and they try long-distance, but KO has no intention of leaving Katy behind. So, since they’re staying in New York, KO figured he make it official, and he proposes to Katy.
Before Katy can answer his engagement proposal, a thief snatches the ring out of KO’s hands and runs off, with KO chasing after him.
KO returns after failing to apprehend the Alphabet City Bandit. He chased him for 12 blocks and lost him in Chinatown. Katy worries that he could’ve been hurt, but KO insists that he’s fine. He then assures Katy that he’s going to make this right. She wraps her arms around KO and begs him to spend the night, leading to them having sex.
KO arrives at Lacy's to see if Katy wanted to grab something to eat while she was on break, though he is stopped at the door by the prince's men. He sees the ring on her finger and asks why she’s wearing it. Katy explains that she was simply helping the prince pick a ring out for his girlfriend. Prince Errol approaches and apologizes for his men. Katy introduces KO to Prince Errol, though she fumbles on the introduction, unsure what to refer to KO as.
Katy and KO grab something to eat and discuss the ring that Prince Errol asked her to wear. KO then gets a message from his mom, who wanted to throw them an engagement dinner. KO explains that his mother assumed Katy said yes, though Katy hasn’t, and he didn't correct her when she made the assumption. Still, Katy wants to go to dinner and assures KO it won’t be awkward.
KO and Katy arrive at his mom’s as planned. They’re celebrating the engagement despite Katy not saying yes to his proposal. KO’s mom, June, asks when they’re going shopping for wedding dresses. Katy replies soon.
At Molly's Crisis, KO tells Katy that they caught the Alphabet City Bandit. He plans to go to the station to see if they found the ring. However, KO will have to go alone as Katy promised Francois she would work the overnight shift and help him finish the window.
KO meets with Katy to discuss his proposal. While she loves him, she’s not ready to get married. She also feels like they missed a step in their relationship. An important step they should take together before they go all in. So, Katy asks KO to move in with her. KO joyfully agrees, secretly tucking the engagement ring back in his pocket as he and Katy kiss under the George Washington Bridge.
Breaking up with Katy
KO wakes up at 5.00 AM and finds Katy in the sewing spot. She stayed up all night sewing a dress for Gingerʼs performance at Molly's Crisis. KO decides to go for a run and kisses her before going out.
After getting out of the shower, KO and Katy talk about Valentine's Day. They have always spent it together, but this year it happens on the same day as one of the upcoming KO matches. Katy promises to be there because she has never missed one of them, but she will have to ask Gloria and Francois.
While the girls talk in the living room, KO decides to do the laundry. He asks who the yellow top he found belongs to. Josie claims it as hers. Katy offers to help KO with the laundry and tells him that he doesn't have to hide away in the room, but he doesn't want to be in their way. Meanwhile, the others notice smoke coming from the kitchen. KO is preheating the oven because he wanted to cook lasagnas, but Jorgeʼs clothes are in the oven! Jorge tries to get them out, but he burns a hand in the process.
After the fire department has secured the apartment, KO tries to remedy the mess he made in the kitchen. Unbeknownst to him, Josie and Jorge are rolling their eyes behind him. Katy then tells KO to join them, as they continue their conversation about the fireman. KO tells them how one of the firemen tells his daughter how much he loves her every day in case he never sees her again.
KO and Katy spend some time alone at the apartment, and Katy surprises him with her Valentine's Day gift; a punching bag. KO really likes the gift but it is a way to sweeten the bitter pill that Katy is going to give him. She won't be able to watch his big match because Gloria doesn't give her the day off from work. KO understands and starts throwing punches at the bag.
Before going to the boxing match, KO cleans the whole apartment.
After winning the match in the third round, KO surprises Katy at work to inform her of the victory and celebrate with her. Katy is with a client who doesn't shake KO's hand, saying he's bleeding. By withdrawing his hand, KO inadvertently stains an expensive blouse. Gloria and Amanda grin from afar, before ordering KO to spit in a cup. Gloria says she needs a sample of his saliva to get rid of the stain. As Gloria and Katy walk away to discuss how to remove the blood from the blouse, Amanda reveals to KO that Gloria had actually given Katy the night off.
KO confronts Katy about it, saying that he would've understood if she had told him the truth. He is more hurt by the lie than by Katy missing his big match. Katy admits that she lied because she wanted to meet the fashion designers but at the same time she didn't want to hurt KO. He retorts, saying he would never force Katy to do something she doesn't want. Like he accepted her refusing his marriage proposal. KO, therefore, realizes that moving to the apartment was only a consolation prize. Katy insists it's not like that, but KO now doesn't want to hear any more excuses. After all, he gave up going to Philly for her. One thing Katy hadn't asked him to do, however.
The following day, KO and Katy meet for the first time after their argument. He spent the night at his friend Raj's house because he needed to clear his mind. Katy wanted to meet him because one of Lacy's girls is subletting an apartment and they could move there. KO, however, doubts Katy's real intentions and asks her if that's really what she wants. Katy would like everything to remain as it is because she feels that they are growing apart. KO confirms his love for Katy and that he will always be there for her, but he is not sure that it is the same for Katy. Katy says he will always be her first love. They kiss and hold each other close before taking their separate ways.
KO has been avoiding Katy since they broke up. Outside Studio 34, a nightclub, KO meets Katy. He is there to be interviewed for a bouncer job since he quit Molly's Crisis. He figured that was what Katy wants. Katy, visibly drunk, accuses him of giving up because he wants to avoid her. KO offers to grab her some water but she refuses, saying she is fine and asks him to stop being so nice to her. Katy, then, demands to know why he doesn't answer her phone calls. KO doesn't know what to answer. He is miserable and Katy’s responsible for him feeling that way. He tells Katy to take care of herself as he leaves, spotting Josie nearby so that Katy is not alone.
KO accompanies rich Senior VP of Cabot Entertainment, Alexandra Cabot to Stella Tower, and briefly chat with her outside the main entrance. They seem to get along well. Unbeknownst to him, Katy spotted them from across the street.
KO shows up at Katy's house for breakfast. While Jorge and Josie are in the other room, KO and Katy go to the kitchen to grab some cereals. Katy confesses that she has seen KO with Xandra, and says she's fine with him dating someone else although her jealousy is poorly hidden. KO, however, immediately denies any concern by saying that he is not ready to start a new relationship right now. Unbeknownst to him, Katy spent the night with Prince Errol. KO actually explains that he met Xandra at Studio 34. She needed a bodyguard. He took the job, and so now he drives her around and teaches her how to box.
Katy is surprised to meet KO at the Pepper Plant. KO replies that he has known Jorge since they were 15 years old, and he would not miss his one-woman show. He's there to support his friend. Katy at this point reveals that Patricia has asked her to design her wedding dress, but she is not sure whether to accept the commission. KO replies that she should accept the job.
The following day, KO is escorting Xandra while Pepper tries to convince her to invest in The Kiss of the Spider Woman show, promising Alexandra that she will be the star of the show when she goes to Broadway.
KO is at the apartment with Katy, Pepper, Josie, and Jorge's parents and brothers when he and Bernardo talk about their attack on the street. They reported the attack to the police, but without eyewitnesses, they don't have enough evidence. KO decides to go to Molly's Crisis to find out if anyone has seen something. Before leaving, Jorge tells him that they will always be a family.
In the hallway, Katy stops KO and tells him that he doesn't need to leave but KO thinks there are too enough people hovering over Jorge. Katy is having second thoughts about calling him, but KO wanted to be there for Jorge. Katy proposes to remain friends and go to lunch together.
The next day, KO and Katy have lunch at the park. KO is having a salad, and Katy is curious about it. It was Xandra's idea since KO has a modeling photoshoot tomorrow for Caboture, Xandra's fashionable clothing line. They are also dating, and Katy is not surprised because she noticed vibes between the two. KO asks about Katy's job. Although she didn't make the dress for Patricia, she's running for an apprenticeship with Guy LaMontagne. KO and Katy hug, and he tells her that he is proud of her.
On the day of the photoshoot, KO gets photographed in different poses and Katy joins them on set. After briefly talking to Xandra about getting back a loaned dress, KO approaches them, and Katy invites them both to Pepper's party.
KO and Xandra arrive at the party, and Pepper greets them hugging KO while finding out that Xandra is wearing the very same dress that Katy asked her to return to Guy since it was a loan.
During the party, Raj joins them. He hasn't seen Xandra for a long time. Usually, he hears her and KO having sex through the walls. KO leaves, embarrassed.
Katy spots KO at the snack table and tells him that it's okay to eat something now that his photoshoot is over. However, since he's been with Xandra, he's been watching what he eats. Although, he's always been in great shape for as long as Katy's known him. KO’s not used to being objectified, referring to modeling in his underwear. Katy jokes that she used to always objectify him when they were together. She mistakenly adds that he looked hot, resulting in uncomfortable silence.
The guests gather around the stage to listen to Jorge propose a toast in honor of Pepper, who has dedicated herself to building a haven for artists of all stripes.
Ms. Freesia arrives and begins to tell things about Pepper's past, revealing inconsistencies with what Pepper said to her friends. Ms. Freesia claims she has known Pepper since she was a child and was always alone at the Georgia Hotel when her father was out on business, but Pepper said she was raised in London. Before long, the lies about the Kiss of the Spider Woman also pop up. Alex accuses Pepper of having scammed them, and Xandra spills a glass of wine on her dress and starts arguing with Katy, who accuses her of doing it on purpose. KO is on Katy's side. Xandra had plenty of clothes and yet chose exactly what Katy had been tasked to retrieve on Guy's behalf. Xandra is having none of it as she's jealous of how KO prefers to take the defense of her ex-girlfriend rather than hers. Katy retorts that Xandra may have been dating KOs for ten minutes, but she and KO have been together for ten years. They will always have each other back, while Xandra wants to change KO to her likings. Xandra tells Katy to consider that she may no longer know what KO likes and doesn’t like. If Katy fought for KO half as hard as she is fighting Xandra, they'd still be together. Xandra leaves, and on her way out, tells KO to find his way home.
The next day, KO hands over the dress to Katy. Dry-cleaned and with no wine stain. Katy apologizes for how she reacted to the party, and KO regrets that he didn't defend Xandra. But he's so used to being always on Katy's side that he's still struggling not to. They agree to remain friends, and KO wishes her good luck with the apprenticeship.
The following day, KO reaches out to his friends at the gay pride rally organized by Ginger. They are surprised by the positive feedback where Ginger demands the city accept them for what they are.
Shortly after, Katy, Ginger, Pepper, and Josie watch as a public transportation bus passes by with a Caboture promotional ad on the side with KO as the model.
KO unexpectedly shows up at Lacy’s and asks if Katy can fit him for his suit for the Meta Gala. Amanda remarks that KO appears to be winning Katy’s breakup before Katy kicks her out. He asks if she’s heard back from Parsons yet, and Katy tells him that she didn’t get in. Guy interrupts after Katy failed to answer his calls. He threatens to find someone who can replace her if she has better things to do. KO comes to her defense and encourages Guy to be more careful with his words. When he persists, KO gets upset. Upon realizing that KO is Katy’s ex-boyfriend and suggesting that Katy is better without him, KO punches Guy in the face.
At the Meta Gala, KO shows up in the tuxedo Katy fitted him for. He apologizes for punching Guy. Katy forgives KO and warns him against ever doing that again. He looks to Casey’s dress and can instantly tell that it’s Katy’s work. Xandra joins them, and she and KO walk down the carpet.
The Pussycats set up their equipment and perform their brand new song in front of the entire Meta Gala, interrupting Xandra’s reveal of her band. She and KO leave as Katy and Pepper cheer Josie on.
KO arrives at the Pepper Plant and tells Katy how proud of her he is. He notices her tearing up and asks what’s wrong. He tells Katy to cheer up as everything in her life is seemingly going her away. However, Katy tells KO that Guy stole one of her designs for his collection, and as it turns out, he’s done it with his other apprentices as well. People keep telling Katy that’s how fashion works, but while standing there, looking at all her designs around her, she no longer thinks that she can allow Guy to take her designs. KO hugs Katy and advises her to confront Guy.
Moving to Philly
KO goes to Lacy's to visit Katy but when he sees her with Guy, he leaves.
Katy rushes to the Grand Central train station and finds KO in the lobby. She wonders why he didn’t tell her that he was leaving. KO explains that Katy was the first person he wanted to know. He came to Lacy’s to tell her, but she was with Guy. Katy assures KO that she’s not with Guy. She then informs KO that she got into Parsons. He congratulates her. Just as it seems she is about to tell him how she really feels, Katy tells KO to chase his dreams in Philly. He hugs Katy, and they part ways.
Heavyweight Heartbreaker vs Red Hope
In Riverdale, KO Kelly enters Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, and meets Veronica Lodge, an old friend of Katy's who lived in New York City, and he affectionally calls "Ronnie". Veronica introduces him to her boyfriend, Archie Andrews. The two shake hands, and KO surmises that Archie will be his competition. Smugly, KO asks if they are even in the same weight class. Archie replies that he is bigger than he looks. Veronica acts as an intermediary between the two hotheads, saying them to save the sparring for the ring. Veronica promised Katy that she will show KO around tonight. But first, KO would like to know where he can drop his stuff. Veronica replies that Archie has offered to host KO, and also to train at his gym.
At the El Royale Gym, KO trains with a punchbag while Archie talks to his trainer, Mr. Keller. Soon after, Archie tells KO that he promised Ronnie no betting on the actual match, but asks KO about making a little side bet. That, pound for pound, he's stronger than KO is. KO accepts, and they start to make push-ups. KO gets to do 124 push-ups, and 130 pushups at the pull-up bar while Archie does a few more of each. In the sauna, KO admits that Archie has more endurance. Bur when it comes to brute power, they'll see who's stronger. The Heavyweight Heartbreaker or the Red Hope. Archie replies that tomorrow KO's ass is grass, but tonight Ronnie wants to show him a good time so they'll go to her speakeasy. KO, surprised, asks "her what?"
At La Bonne Nuit, KO is at the table with Archie, Jughead, and Betty as Veronica welcomes guests from the stage. In honor of KO visiting her, she'll share a little tune for them tonight. The song is an original piece written by Archie that Ronnie thinks was written for her.
Later that night, outside Pop's, Veronica says goodnight to KO and Archie, her burly boys. Before they leave, Ronnie tells KO that she is sorry that Katy won't be there when Archie beats up her boyfriend.
Lying in his sleeping bag next to Archie's bed, KO asks him what prompted him to seek out the Naval Academy. Well, all of his friends applied to college and he kind of missed the boat on that. He got a second chance with the Commandant, and the academy feels like a good place to start over. Not completely, KO replies. According to Katy, Archie and Ronnie are for the win. Archie is worried that sometimes he's holding her back. But that is for the ladies to decide, says KO, not lugs like them. Archie then switch the lights off, and they fell asleep.
It's the day of the El Royale boxing match at the Fred Andrews Community Center. KO wears a teal bathrobe and shorts. Archie wears red. The two competitors begin to throw punches. KO is visibly ahead. The first judge scored the fight by KO. The second judge scored for Archie. The third judge, Commandant Carter, scored the fight in favor of KO Kelly, winner of the evening.
Prom Night at Riverdale High School. KO is on the dance floor with Archie, Veronica, Betty, Jughead, Reggie, Fangs, Kevin, Cheryl, and Toni along with other students and chaperones. Kevin proposes a toast. To surviving this crazy town and making it a night they'll never forget.
Principal Weatherbee stops the dancing to announce this year's Prom King and Queen. Cheryl and Toni are crowned prom queens. During her speech, Cheryl is delighted to be Riverdale High's first openly gay royal couple. However, no queenship is complete without their court. So she invites her dear cousin Betty, Jughead, Veronica, and Archie for the traditional promenade court dance. As they dance, flashing images of a rave party are projected including the snuff film of a murder committed by stand-in for Archie and the Gang wearing masks with their faces.
KO Kelly is a tall, muscular guy with a square, clean-shaven face, blue eyes, and short brown hair. KO has several fine-lined tattoos on his forearms and hairless chest. KO wears casual clothes and with a James Dean-esque vibe comprising of blue jeans, a white T-shirt, leather jacket, and Chelsea boots. He often switches the white T-shirt for monochrome polo shirts or v-neck shirts.
KO is a guy with a good heart and simple but sincere feelings. Very tied to family values and friendship, KO cares a lot about the well-being of his loved ones. This however does not translate into a bigoted attachment to the values of the past and KO is an open-minded guy who works as a bouncer at Molly's Crisis, a nightclub famous for its drag queens performances. His calm and supportive personality finds its outlet in his great passion: boxing. KO dreams of becoming a championing boxer and winning a welterweight in Madison Square Garden. He is very fond of his long-time girlfriend, Katy Keene, and the two have spent much of their teens and early adulthood years together.
The romantic relationship between KO and Katy is a long-term relationship for two 20-something living in New York City and has deeply marked their lives in the formative years. By her admission, KO has always been present for Katy, especially in times of need such as during the illness of her mother, Katherine, and following death. Both supportive of each other dreams and careers, they have recently grown apart because they are stuck in a habitual situation taken for granted. This became more evident after Katy hesitated at KO's marriage proposal. With Katy questioning her true feelings, the two decided to break up.
Following his breakup with Katy, KO was hired by Xandra as her security. It wasn't long before they started dating. However, the relationship didn't last long as KO decided to move to Philly after accepting an offer to train at Joe Frazier's gym. During their brief relationship, Xandra supported KO and provided him with great opportunists, such as modeling. However, in the end, she realized that he would always love and defend Katy.
- "Chapter One: Once Upon a Time in New York"
- "Chapter Two: You Can't Hurry Love"
- "Chapter Three: What Becomes of the Broken Hearted"
- "Chapter Four: Here Comes the Sun"
- "Chapter Six: Mama Said"
- "Chapter Seven: Kiss of the Spider Woman"
- "Chapter Eight: It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"
- "Chapter Ten: Gloria" (mentioned)
- "Chapter Eleven: Who Can I Turn To"
- "Chapter Twelve: Chain of Fools"
- "Chapter Thirteen: Come Together"
- In the Archie Comics, KO Kelly is an Irish-American boy from the working-class who's madly in love with Katy. He's good-looking in a boyish rugged way and dreams of being a famous boxer.
- In the comics, KO contends for Katy's love with rich boy Randy Van Ronson, Latino airline pilot Ramon Ramirez, and the Arnold Schwarzenegger parody Arnold Horsenlegger.
- To keep up with the main comic series heartthrob Archie Andrews, KO is also redheaded in the comics.
- Tom Keller notes that KO has at least 50 pounds on Archie.
- See also: Category:Images of KO Kelly