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Can someone please provide some history towards the usage of 'boxing ring'? As we know, the boxing ring is in fact a square. Just wondering does the ring date back to traditional battles in Ancient Roman times and the sport of boxing simply utilized?

  • See Wikipedia: "The name "ring" is a relic from when contests were fought in a roughly drawn circle on the ground.". Voting to close because this is not a Q. about the English language: the terminology is likely the same/equivalent is other languages. – TrevorD May 9 at 17:27
  • @TrevorD do you have evidence that the terminology is the same in other languages, given that the square stage is a relic of English boxing rules from the 19th century? – TaliesinMerlin May 9 at 17:29
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it relates to the origin of terminology that is not specific to the English Language. Also the answer is readily available in other on-line sources, e.g. Wikipedia (see my comment). – TrevorD May 9 at 17:29
  • @TaliesinMerlin French translation: ring de boxe. In any case, Q. could also be closed for lack of research because the answer is readily available in Wikipedia. – TrevorD May 9 at 17:39
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    @TaliesinMerlin Leaving aside other countries (which I should not have mentioned), Op's original Q. (Can someone please provide some history towards the usage of 'boxing ring'?) is answered by the cited Wikipedia article - that shows lack of research by Op. If appropriate, Op could have cited Wiki & asked for more info. Op cited no research at all, which makes 'lack of research' a legitimate reason for closure. Wiki refers to name ring as a 'relic'; its use in London in 1753 as a literal ring; & "first square ring" in 1838, which together more than answer Q. as it currently stands! – TrevorD May 9 at 22:33
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ring OED

A space, originally defined by a circle of spectators, now within a roped square on a raised platform, for a boxing match, wrestling match, etc. Also more fully boxing ring (see boxing n.2)

as in:

1654 M. Stevenson Occasions Off-spring 'To a drunken Porter reeling into the Ring to wrastle with a Taylor.'

Although boxing matches are now conducted in square-shaped areas, such spaces are still called ‘rings’. The Pugilistic Society introduced the first square ring in the year 1838, which was basically a 7.3-meter (24 feet) square. This is another reason why the ring where two boxers fight is also sometines referred to as the ‘square circle’.

  • Thank you IBF. That was exactly what I wanted to know, and confirms my suspicions... That boxing adopted 'square rings' in the 1800s but these continued to be referred to as rings instead of relabelling. – Curly Watts May 10 at 14:54
  • @CurlyWatts Most of the information given in this answer was also provided in the Wikipedia article that I referred you to 36 hours ago! – TrevorD May 11 at 11:20
  • @TrevorD comments to not suffice for answers, nor are answers intended to be in comments. – lbf May 11 at 12:58
  • My understanding is that it is also inappropriate to provide an answer to a Q that ought to be closed for lack of research - which is why I put my 'answer' in a comment, where Op could read info for himself. Additionally, my comment was addressed to Op - not to you - on the basis that he was thanking you for info that I had provided him with some 36h previously! – TrevorD May 11 at 16:27
  • answers are not to be provided in comments, whether OP's question warrants closure or not. – lbf May 11 at 18:50

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