If indeed it was a boxing term, Mr. Dunne, as a sports writer, would have had ample opportunity to have heard it and to introduce it to the world of base ball. It seems to have a fair spread of meanings in boxing, at least according to this site: http://www.hedbergska.sundsvall.se/roger/finalD.htm

Don't be discouraged by the large blank screen. Scroll down to 3.4. The boxer.