Boxing, like any other specialized field, has developed its own unique set of terms and slang that enriches the culture and gives insiders a way to abbreviate complex concepts. This jargon not only helps convey technical aspects during bouts and training, but also gives enthusiasts a certain air of camaraderie.

Glass Jaw

Referring to a boxer who does not take punches well; a fighter with a “glass jaw” is easily knocked out or shaken up by blows to the chin or head. It’s a term that points to vulnerability, suggesting that, like glass, the fighter’s jaw shatters under pressure.

On the Ropes

This term is used when a boxer is in trouble, pressured into the ropes by an opponent’s aggressive assault. It can also metaphorically refer to a boxer being in a difficult situation, struggling to defend against a barrage of attacks.

Pound for Pound

A way to compare fighters regardless of their weight class, suggesting that if they were of equal weight, who would be superior based on skill, achievements, and capabilities. It’s a term of high praise in the boxing community.

Throw in the Towel

Derived from the practice of a boxer’s corner throwing a towel into the ring to stop the fight, indicating that their fighter can no longer safely continue. It’s widely used outside of boxing to mean giving up or conceding defeat in any challenging situation.

Below the Belt

Originally meaning punches thrown lower than an opponent’s belt line, which are illegal in boxing. The phrase has transcended sports to describe any act that is deemed unfair or unethical.


A deceptive move where a boxer pretends to throw a punch at one target to distract or mislead the opponent, before striking at a different target. It’s a strategy to create openings and break down the opponent’s defense.

Stick and Move

A fundamental strategy in boxing, encouraging a fighter to jab at their opponent (stick) and then quickly move out of the way to avoid a counterattack (move). It’s a hit-and-run tactic that emphasizes speed and agility.


A left-handed fighter, or one who stands with their right hand and foot forward, which is less common and can give them a strategic advantage due to the rarity and the reversed angle of their punches.

Common Words to Know

Boxing slang is important to master in order to keep up to date not only in the ring, but also in the training rooms. For those immersed in the sport, these terms provide a deeper understanding of the tactics, challenges, and traits that define the sport.