beat sb to the punch

beat sb to the punch and beat sb to the draw AND beat sb to it (do or say something before others do; before they have a chance to do it, especially if you are both trying to do it first; outdo, outshine, overcome, surpass) — опередить, обскакать...

Used when showing how someone took the advantage away from another person.

Example 1: I wanted to invite Ann for coffee, but Boris beat me to the punch by asking her first." — Я хотел пригласить Ann на чашечку кофе, но Борис опередил меня, обскакал..

Example 2: Alice was thinking of applying for that job but John beat her to the punch.

Example 3: Lori beat me to the punch five times in math class today. The teacher asked the class questions, but she always knew the answers before I did.

Example 4: If you beat him to the punch, you should have a nice contract / get the job

Example 5: They wanted to make it into a film, but another studio beat them to the punch.

Example 6: She wanted to be the first to welcome him, but she found her sister had beaten her to it.

Example 7: The contestants on game shows are always trying to beat each other to the punch.

see also
[get a jump on sth]

>>Since we're on the topic of punching, to punch someone out or to knock someone out means to hit someone so hard that the other person falls (and passes out / loses consciousness).

Example: The boxer knocked his opponent out in the first round.

NB! To beat someone to the punch is not the same as to punch someone, which means to strike, hit someone with your fist.

The term should always use the definite article "the" - it's not correct to say "to beat someone to a punch."