phantom punch

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phantom punch (plural phantom punches)

  1. A punch of the fist that is not real, for whatever reason, to which there is a reaction as though it were, such as the final blow, according to ringside spectators who did not see it, in the 1965 rematch between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston.
    • 1984, Lewis A. Erenberg, Steppin’ Out, New York Nightlife and the Transformation of American Culture, 1890-1930, University of Chicago Press, →ISBN, pages 127-128
      The first part of the act went off smoothly. One of the brothers responded to the phantom punch and stumbled off the stage onto the floor.
    • 1998, House on Fire, Simon & Schuster, →ISBN, page 111
      He smiled and faked a hook to Frank's midsection. The idea of the phantom punch hitting his throbbing liver pushed Frank back onto the heels of his plain polished shoes.
    • 2002, Ann Goldstein (translator), Alessandro Baricco (author), City, Alfred A. Knopf Incorporated, →ISBN, page 322
      “You know that many people said it was a phantom punch, that you threw yourself down?”
    • 2006, Ashaki Boelter, Destined to Win, Shakalot High Entertainment, →ISBN, page 139
      “I need you to practice because the end of this nightmare is coming to an end. Leon, you have to fight if you're to return to Los Angeles.” ... Zion threw a mean, phantom punch at some guy who tried to attack first. His entire face caved into his mouth.
    • 2005, David E. Finger, Rocky Lives!, Heavyweight Boxing Upsets of The 1990s, Brassey's, →ISBN, page 29
      In only his second defense he took on Mike Tyson and found himself on the losing end of a very questionable first-round knockout. (It seemed he was dropped by a phantom punch.) That was Seldon's last fight...