go the distance
- (boxing) To participate in a boxing match for its maximum number of rounds.
1915, Jack London, chapter 20, in The Little Lady of the Big House:
- "In a way it's like the quality of muscle and heart that enables some prizefighters to go the distance—twenty, thirty, forty rounds, say," Dick concurred.
1976 November 21, Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa, Rocky:
- It really don't matter if this guy opens my head, even, cause I all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, seein' that bell ring and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood.
- (idiomatic, by extension) To have the endurance to see a difficult, sustained challenge to its natural end without faltering.
1920, E. Phillips Oppenheim, chapter 4, in The Devil's Paw:
- "Do you notice how every one is trying to avoid the subject of the war? . . . I am sure they cannot keep it up."
- "They won't go the distance," Julian whispered.
- 2013 Oct. 18, Chad Bray, "HSBC to Appeal $2.46 Billion Judgment," New York Times (retrieved 23 June 2014):
- “We are very pleased that we went the distance in this case, all the way through a jury trial, and that we were able to obtain such a tremendous recovery for shareholders.”