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, 2019 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? May 9, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 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, 2019 at 22:33

1 Answer 1


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. May 10, 2019 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, 2019 at 11:20
  • @TrevorD comments to not suffice for answers, nor are answers intended to be in comments.
    – lbf
    May 11, 2019 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, 2019 at 16:27
  • answers are not to be provided in comments, whether OP's question warrants closure or not.
    – lbf
    May 11, 2019 at 18:50

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