sparring partner


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sparring partner

1. Literally, someone with whom one practices martial arts or boxing. OK, John here is going to be your new sparring partner. He's tougher than you're used to, but he'll help your skills improve.
2. By extension, someone with whom one engages in a debate, argument, or heated discussion, especially when one enjoys doing so. I was sad to hear he wouldn't be in the class next semester—he was my favorite sparring partner during class discussions. The two have been sparring partners on the morning talk show for nearly ten years.
See also: partner, spar
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

sparring partner

An individual with whom one enjoys arguing, as in Jim's my best sparring partner. This expression alludes to boxing, where since about 1900 it has denoted the person one practices or trains with. [Mid-1900s] Also see spar with.
See also: partner, spar
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a sparring partner

Someone's sparring partner is someone they enjoy arguing with or discussing things with. My old sparring partner Chris Moyles has got the Radio 1 breakfast show in place of Sara Cox. Note: This expressing comes from boxing, where a sparring partner was someone to practise with.
See also: partner, spar
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Wavertree light-heavyweight counts Stevenson as favourite and in preparation for a potential showdown with the Canadian he has drawn up a list of sparring partners.
NEWCASTLE'S Dougie Curran did so well taking European super bantamweight champion Kiko Martinez to a points decision in Belfast that he's been offered a job as his sparring partner.
The 39-year-old European champion (pictured below) gets his chance against Haye, his former sparring partner, on November 13 at Manchester's MEN Arena.
AMIR Khan has revealed he could fight American superstar Floyd Mayweather next year with the blessing and backing of sparring partner Manny Pacquiao.
King spent several years as a sparring partner for Joe Calzaghe but he had no answer to DeGale.
Do you think you could print Billy's boxing record as I know he was a sparring partner to John Conteh when he won the title.
Special guest is former Mike Tyson sparring partner Joe Egan and tickets, priced pounds 30 and pounds 50 VIP, are available from Lee March on 07985 538260.
Ricky Hatton's head sparring partner Steve Forbes believes the Manchester fighter can gain respect with victory over Jose Luis Castillo on Saturday.
HAMILTON RICARD has been the least impressive Colombian on view in the Copa America, Chile talisman Ivan Zamorano looks decidedly out of sorts and his usual sparring partner, Marcelo Salas, is suspended, writes Mark Worwood.
He said: "I was Jim's sparring partner for that fight.
, Manny Pacquiao's sparring partner, had little trouble getting past Filipino Rey Perez, fashioning out a unanimous decision win in their lightweight bout in the undercard of the Pacquiao-Adrien Broner clash at the MGM Grand Garden Arena here Saturday (Sunday Manila time).
Kambosos was part of Pacquiao's training camp for Lucas Matthysse as the main sparring partner of the Filipino ring superstar.
Catherine will be getting a new "sparring partner" in the new season.
Crooks broke into the Argo club in Drumchapel, Glasgow, and stole a set of gloves signed by Mike Tyson's sparring partner, Kenneth Egan.
I'm going to punch him in his beer belly." He also claimed: "He ain't good enough to be my sparring partner. I'm retiring in America, that don't mean I'm retiring in the UK."