Etymology
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boxer (n.)
"fist-fighter, pugilist," late 15c., agent noun from box (v.2). The breed of dog (1934), is from German Boxer (the breed originated in Germany), itself taken from English boxer "fighter;" the dog so called for its pugnaciousness. Boxer shorts (1943) so called from their resemblance to the attire worn in the ring.
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Boxer Rebellion (n.)
1900, a name based on a mistranslation of the name of a Chinese xenophobic society, I-He-T'uan, "Righteous Harmony Band," rendered by British as I-He-Ch'uan "Righteous Uniting Fists," and so associated with the pugilistic boxer.
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ringster (n.)

1875, "member of a (political) ring," from ring (n.1) + -ster. By 1926 as "a boxer."

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middleweight (n.)

also middle-weight, "boxer or jockey of intermediate weight" (between a lightweight and a heavyweight), 1842, from middle (adj.) + weight (n.).

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welterweight (n.)

1831, "heavyweight horseman," later "boxer or wrestler of a certain weight" (1896), from earlier welter "heavyweight horseman or boxer" (1804), possibly from welt (v.) "beat severely" (c. 1400).

... but at the end of the first German mile, Nature gave way, and this excellent mare was obliged to "knock under" to the extraordinary exertions she had made, and to the welter weight she carried, upwards of 13 stone. [The Sporting Magazine, September 1831]
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pugilism (n.)

"the art or practice of fighting with the fists, gloved or not," 1789, from Latin pugil "boxer, fist-fighter," related to pugnus "fist" (from suffixed form of PIE root *peuk- "to prick") + -ism. Pugilation "fighting with fists," now obsolete, is recorded from 1650s.

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beater (n.)
mid-14c., "an implement for beating;" mid-15c., "a person who punishes" (c. 1200 as a surname); agent noun from beat (v.). Old English had beatere "boxer." Of various mechanical devices that "beat" in some sense from early 17c. Meaning "one who rouses game" is from 1825. Slang meaning "old car" is from c. 1980.
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punching (n.)

c. 1400, "the cutting out of figures;" early 15c. as "the action of delivering blows with the fist," verbal noun from punch (v.). Related: Punching-bag "bag, generally large and heavy, suspended from the ceiling to be punched by an athlete, especially a boxer, for training or exercise" is by 1889 (also punch-bag); the figurative sense is attested by 1903.

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pugilist (n.)

"one who fights with the fists," 1789, from Latin pugil "boxer, fist-fighter," related to pugnus "a fist" (from suffixed form of PIE root *peuk- "to prick") + -ist. For sense development, compare punch (v.), also from a root meaning "to pierce." Related: Pugilistic "of or pertaining to fighting with the fists" (1789); pugilistically.

Pugil (n.) occasionally turns up in English as "boxer, fist-fighter" (17c.-18c), but it has not caught on; earlier it meant "a little handful or a big pinch" of something (1570s). Pugil stick (1962) was introduced by U.S. military as a substitute for rifles in bayonet drills.

UNTIL recently bayonet training has lacked realism. Bayonet instruction consisted of basic positions and movements, the fundamentals of bayonet fighting, and a practical examination conducted on the Bayonet Assault Course. This training is essential for the combat Infantryman; however, he completes his training without knowing what an actual bayonet fight is like. The dummies used in training cannot fight back or take evasive action. The only true test of an Infantryman's skill with bayonet is vicious, close combat against an armed opponent. [Lt. Wendell O. Doody, "Pugil, Man, Pugil!" in Infantry magazine, Nov.-Dec. 1962]
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*peuk- 
also *peug-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to prick."

It forms all or part of: appoint; appointment; bung; compunction; contrapuntal; expugn; expunge; impugn; interpunction; oppugn; pink; poignant; point; pointe; pointillism; poniard; pounce; pugilism; pugilist; pugnacious; pugnacity; punch (n.1) "pointed tool for making holes or embossing;" punch (n.3) "a quick blow with the fist;" punch (v.) "to hit with the fist;" puncheon (n.2) "pointed tool for punching or piercing;" punctilio; punctilious; punctual; punctuate; punctuation; puncture; pungent; punty; Pygmy; repugn; repugnance; repugnant.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek pyx "with clenched fist," pygme "fist, boxing," pyktes "boxer;" Latin pugnare "to fight," especially with the fists, pungere "to pierce, prick."
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