Hold The Ring Meaning

(Britain, idiomatic) To oversee a situation while attempting to remain uninvolved in it.

Example: 2006 August 31, “Holding the ring in the capital: Embedded with American troops in a volatile district, our correspondent asks how long they can prevent an all-out sectarian war”[1], The Economist (Economist.com):
  Lieutenant-General Fry says that coalition forces will continue military operations "to separate the two sides of the sectarian conflict" but that such operations were meant to hold the ring until the politicians come up with a solution.
  Police held the ring during the protests.