Archieverse Wiki
Archieverse Wiki

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 to Katy[src]

KO Kelly is a main character on The CW's Katy Keene, and a guest starring character on The CW's Riverdale. He is portrayed by Zane Holtz.

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.

Character Description

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.[1]

Early Life

KO Kelly was born in Queens, New York to an Irish-American family. He met Katy Keene as a youth and continued their relationship well into adulthood.[2]

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.[3]

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.[2]

Throughout Katy Keene

Throughout Riverdale

Season 5

Heavyweight Heartbreaker vs Red Hope

KO arrives to Riverdale

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.

KO and Archie training

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.

KO and Archie talk about their future

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.

KO wins the match

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.

KO, Kevin, Fangs, and Reggie shocked by the snuff film

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.[4]

Season 6

Incident in Riverdale

KO is back in Riverdale

KO, who's a professional boxer now, is contacted by Jughead, and agrees to fight Archie in a competition. Archie fears that he might hurt KO and ruin his reputation. Fortunately, Jughead reveals that since KO went professional, his shtick is that he knocks ever opponent out. So, all Archie has to do is stay standing by the time the final bell rings. KO will get the technical win, but Archie will get the Rocky-esque inspirational victory.

KO is attacked

KO arrives at the gym and embraces Archie, taking notice of his new physique. Archie is planning to set the ring up himself. KO would stay to help, but Katy told him about Veronica's new casino which he intends to check out.

Percival Pickens approaches KO outside of Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe claiming to be a fan of his work. He then uses his ability to force KO to walk into traffic and get hit by a car.[5]

Physical Appearance

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.


Katy Keene

KO and Katy

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.

Alexandra Cabot

KO and Xandra

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.



Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Katy Keene

Season 1


  • 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.[4]
  • KO likes the FX series Pose, and believes Jorge will be the next Billy Porter.[6]


See also: Category:Images of KO Kelly
Katy Keene Star.png
KO Kelly's Gallery Can Be Found Here. The Gallery May Consist of Promotional Images, Screencaps, and Video Clips Released By Network Officials