sucker punch

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sucker punch

An unexpected blow, as in They felt that suddenly raising the interest rate was a sucker punch to the administration. This expression comes from boxing, where it is used for a punch delivered unexpectedly; boxing great Jack Dempsey wrote, "The right lead [for a right-handed boxer] is called a sucker punch." [Slang; mid-1900s]
See also: punch, sucker
References in periodicals archive ?
He said: "We are disappointed - to lose a big game by one set-piece was a real sucker-punch.
And there were others, too, including country superstar Toby Keith's sucker-punch ``Unleashed'' and roots rocker Steve Earle's hopeless ``Jerusalem.
Manager Ian McCall said: "We were beaten by a sucker-punch goal.
DUNFERMLINE goalkeeper Bryn Halliwell emerged from Saturday's last-gasp sucker-punch defeat at Fir Park and admitted: "The boys are absolutely devastated.
READING boss Alan Pardew was left feeling hard done by after his side recovered from a two goal deficit only to be hit by a late sucker-punch by Danny Allsop.
Rovers relied on keeper Nick Culkin to maintain their lead as the home side stormed forward, but hit back with a sucker-punch three minutes before the break from Mickey Evans.
But as the half wound down, Harriers caught Halifax with a double sucker-punch.
Cambridge keeper Lionel Perez produced a series of outstanding saves to keep the visitors in it and then Taylor provided the sucker-punch as he slid the ball beyond Seamus Kelly in a rare attack.
It was a painful sucker-punch for Lawrie Sanchez' s Chairboys, who were unable to respond to the first-half strike and subsided to their fifth home defeat.
Anyone who said more than a week ago that a one-car accident in a Paris tunnel could sucker-punch all Britannia undoubtedly would have been laughed at.