Beat to the punch! Why?

Hi Teachers

Can you explain why “beat to the punch” means doing something before anyone does?

Thank you in advance


Etymology: from boxing, in which good fighters are quick to react by punching (hitting) the other fighter before they are hit

and the same as “beat to the draw”?
What means the draw?



I would think “the draw” here refers to drawing out a weapon from the sheath.

So beat to the draw means you hit at someone who is drawing a weapon?
and beat to the punch means you hit at someone when he starts to punch you?
I am really confused.


I am afraid not. It suggests you act faster than or a second before the person drawing a weapon.