pugilist \PYOO-juh-list\ (noun) - One who fights with the fists; especially, a professional prize fighter; a boxer.
"For his part, the pugilist merely smiled offensively and contemptuously at the word 'boxing', not deigning to enter into an open discussion, but occasionally displaying, silently and as though by chance, a thoroughly native object -- a huge fist, sinewy, knotted, covered with reddish down, and it was quite clear that if this pre-eminently native object came into violent contact with anyone, it would leave nothing but a wet mess behind." -- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 'The Idiot'
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Pugilist comes from Latin pugil, a boxer; it is connected with pugnus, a fist. The adjective form is pugilistic. Pugilism is another term for the sport of boxing.