A sucker punch
is a blow made without warning, allowing no time for preparation or defense on the part of the recipient. The term is generally reserved for situations where the way in which the blow has been delivered is considered unfair or unethical. In practice this often includes blows delivered from close range or from behind.
In the world of boxing
a sucker punch thrown outside of the rules is illegal. For example, when James Butler
knocked Richard Grant
unconscious after losing a fight to him on points, his license was suspended.
The sucker punch is a common street fighting
technique. Experts may feign
fear or friendliness to put their opponent off guard or approach him from the side or rear to deliver a surprise
blow. To guard against this, fighters may place their backs against a wall or issue an ultimatum
against any close approach.
The sucker punch has been adapted into many films, video games and other forms of media. It can be used to show the antagonist's vileness, the low moral of an anti-hero, betrayal of a someone close to the protagonist, etc, but it also can be used as a weapon of the protagonist to deal against an unfair situation, as the only way to equal the match.