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Boxing Mirrors Life in Many Ways

Updated on September 2, 2014

People have often asked me why I love boxing so much. What is it about boxing that intrigues you? Is it the violence or danger? Do you love seeing a guy get knocked senseless? Is it the suspense? All of the above are attractive to me, but what I really love about boxing is the fact that it mirrors life. No other sport (and no other thing for that matter) mirrors life more than boxing. That would explain why there are more clichés that are used in the English language that are derived from the sport of boxing than any other source. People use these words and phrases in everyday conversation without even thinking about their origin.

“Throwing in the towel”, “rolling with the punches”, “getting back on your feet” --- these are all phrases derived from boxing. Regardless of one’s background whether it be a privileged one, or one of harsh difficulty, everyone can relate to having to endure life’s challenges. Everyone has been in a situation in which they feel like they are being tested. Not everyone reacts the same way to these challenges but we all face them. I believe that if one does something long enough, he or she will encounter almost every scenario and some they never even thought of! It’s no different in boxing than it is in life. As in life, how a fighter behaves and reacts to adversity during a match is a direct reflection of his/her character.

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As In Life, Boxing is Full of Surprises

Whoever thought we would see Mike Tyson or Roy Jones get knocked out? In their prime, these were two of the most dominant boxers of all time who ultimately experienced being dominated. The great Sugar Ray Leonard was losing to fellow great Tommy Hearns in their epic first fight. Leonard never gave up and found a way to win. What made the late Arturo Gatti so amazing was not his boxing skills, but rather his almost super human ability to absorb punishment, fight through adversity and overcome broken hands, major cuts, swollen eyes, knockdowns, and NEVER EVER QUITTING! His unwillingness to give up and his fearlessness was a sight to behold. Anyone facing hardship in their life who is contemplating giving up should seek inspiration in an Arturo Gatti fight. Gatti was the pugilistic quintessence of the adage “it’s not how many times you go down, it’s how many times you get up”.Gatti was inducted into the International Hall of Fame almost exclusively on heart alone. Ironically, his life ended tragically with him committing suicide (or so we were told) which nobody believed was possible due to the enormous courage and an unwillingness to quit attitude he consistently displayed throughout his legendary career. To this day, very few people believe Arturo threw in the towel outside the ring because he would never conceive of doing so inside of it.

There are an Amazing Number of Cliche's Derived from Boxing

I sat down and came up with as many clichés that we use in every day conversation that were derived from the sport of boxing as possible. Below are the stunningly high number of ones I thought of.



CLICHES DERIVED FROM THE SPORT OF BOXING

  1. SAVED BY THE BELL
  2. ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES
  3. DOWN FOR THE COUNT
  4. LIGHTWEIGHT (DESCRIBING A PERSON)
  5. HEAVYWEIGHT (DESCRIBING A PERSON)
  6. SOFTEN THE BLOW
  7. A KNOCKOUT (BEAUTIFUL GIRL)
  8. VERBAL JAB/SPARRING
  9. LEARNING THE ROPES
  10. STAND AND DELIVER
  11. LEAD WITH YOUR CHIN
  12. DOWN BUT NOT OUT
  13. DOWN AND OUT
  14. IN SOMEONE’S CORNER (ON HIS/HER SIDE)
  15. A FIGHTER (FIGHTING CANCER, ETC)
  16. FIGHTING SHAPE
  17. BACK ON YOUR FEET
  18. LOVE TKO
  19. SOUTHPAW (ACTUALLY DERIVED FROM BASEBALL, BUT MORE COMMONLY ASSOCIATED WITH BOXING)
  20. PUT ON THE GLOVES
  21. AGAINST THE ROPES/ON THE ROPES
  22. 1-2 PUNCH
  23. LOW BLOW
  24. TAKE A PUNCH
  25. TAKE WHAT YOU DISH OUT
  26. A BLOW
  27. SPLIT DECISION
  28. COME OUT SLUGGING/SWINGING
  29. THROW YOUR HAT IN THE RING
  30. FANCY FOOTWORK
  31. WEIGH IN (GIVE YOUR OPINION)
  32. RING THE BELL
  33. BLOW BY BLOW
  34. TAKE IT ON THE CHIN
  35. MAIN EVENT
  36. CHAMP
  37. GO THE DISTANCE
  38. GET YOUR BELL RUNG
  39. TOE TO TOE
  40. POUND FOR POUND
  41. TALE OF THE TAPE
  42. SLUG IT OUT
  43. THROW IN THE TOWEL
  44. TAKE A BEATING
  45. BOB & WEAVE
  46. PULLING PUNCHES
  47. HARD FOUGHT WIN/VICTORY
  48. FIGHTING CHANCE
  49. FIGHT LEFT IN HIM/HER
  50. PACK A PUNCH
  51. PUNCH DRUNK
  52. FINAL FLURRY
  53. LEAD WITH YOUR CHIN
  54. ROUND 1, 2, ETC
  55. NOT GOING DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT
  56. COUNTER-PUNCHER
  57. KEEP YOUR GUARD UP
  58. EXCHANGE PUNCHES/BLOWS
  59. GLANCING BLOW
  60. ANSWER THE BELL
  61. STANDING 8 COUNT
  62. DELIVER KNOCKOUT BLOW
  63. SPARRING
  64. TAKE THE GLOVES OFF
  65. SLUGFEST
  66. BODY BLOW
  67. HIT HARD (GREATLY AFFECTED BY SOMETHING)
  68. TRADE PUNCHES
  69. PUNCHER’S CHANCE
  70. GLASS JAW
  71. HEAVY HITTER
  72. IN FIGHTING
  73. DELIVER THE KNOCKOUT BLOW
  74. RINGSIDE JUDGE
  75. RINGSIDE SEAT
  76. SLAP HAPPY
  77. SPARRING PARTNER
  78. SQUARE OFF
  79. SUCKER PUNCH
  80. TAKE A DIVE
  81. TAKE OFF THE GLOVES
  82. FIGHTING DIRTY
  83. TO BUTT HEADS

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It's No Surprise that Boxing Has Spawned More Cliches Than Any Other Source

Given what was stated earlier, it should come as no surprise that boxing has spawned more cliches than any other source. The same things that cause boxing to mirror life are true of Mixed Martial Arts. Boxers and MMA fighters are modern day warriors who put their lives on the line in a brutal sport for entertainment, glory and of course money. The average Joe on the street may not be literally putting his life on the line but he is facing adversity, peaks and valleys, getting knocked down and punched in the nuts by life and either getting back up and showing the heart and valor of a champion or throwing in the towel and tapping out. The choice is his, as it is in a real fight.

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