We all have seen boxing gloves somewhere or the other, and we also know that they are for combat sports. But what most of us are not aware of is the rich history of these boxing gloves and how they came in use.
Not only has the sport of boxing evolved with the passage of time, but the equipment used in it also has come a long way. Here we will take an in-depth look at the rich history of boxing gloves, but to start, we must first take a look at what boxing exactly is.
What Is Boxing?
For the people who still have no idea on what boxing is here is a basic introduction. Boxing is a sport in which two people enter a ring to combat with each other. However, there is a particular set of rules that boxers have to follow at all times during these fights. A referee is present inside the ring at all times to regulate boxing matches.
History Of Boxing
Boxing is not a spring chicken and has been present for thousands of years dating far back to 688 B.C. Some people even say that boxing used to exist in ancient Egypt.
Although boxing has been popular in many different eras, people believe that boxing expanded on a much larger scale during the peak of Roman Empire. Boxing used to be a brutal and barbaric sport but has become sophisticated and refined in the modern era.
The First Use Of Boxing Gloves
All boxers are required to wear boxing gloves which are necessary for the protection of hands. The first boxing gloves ever to be found were suggested to be from 120 AD. But these gloves were not enough to protect the competitors, and it was getting violent with each passing day, and the absence of rules did not help either.
But in the 1990s better quality boxing gloves were being manufactured which were safer and more durable. In the early days, boxers chose to fight with bare knuckles but with the passage of time gloves were made mandatory.
Boxing And Its Different Types
There are more than one styles of boxing; each form has an entirely different technique. It is the choice of the fighter to choose which method he or she is more comfortable with when in a game.
The most popular styles in boxing are the slugger, swarmer, out boxer and boxer-puncher. These styles are well known in the boxing world and training as well as mainstream competitions. There are a few sub-styles as well like southpaw, counter puncher, the switch-hitter, etc.
The popularity of boxing has increased throughout the years, and it is not just present at a professional level, but it also prevails on an amateur level as well. However, there is a lot of difference between amateur and professional boxing. Some of the differences are as follows.
Professional Boxing And Amateur Boxing
The first difference between amateur and professional boxers is that of skill. Professional fighters are athletes who train rigorously to get into fighting shape in contrast to amateur boxers who aren't nearly as skilled as professional boxers. The amount of skill a fighter has directly affected their pay, something which is little to non-existent in amateur boxers.
Another glaring difference between amateur and professional boxing is of ring size. There is no actual ring size in the world of professional boxing, and it varies from competition to competition. It is entirely different however in amateur boxing where the standard ring size is a maximum of 20 square feet and a minimum of 16 square feet.
The difference of gear that the amateur and professional boxers wear is noteworthy as well. Amateur fighters wear plenty of protection as far as equipment is concerned as they are mandated to wear a helmet like headgear, in addition to the boxing gloves they already wear.
This headgear lowers the impact of punches that are thrown in a boxing match, ultimately protecting the fighters from severe facial injuries.
Amateur fights are much shorter than professional fights. Professional boxing matches go on for much longer. Mainly because professional boxing fights are allowed to go for twelve rounds as compared to amateur boxing, where even the length of the fighting rounds is shorter which three minutes is.
The most prominent difference that prevails between professional boxing and amateur boxing is how you score the fights. Amateur boxing uses an electronic counter, and it keeps track of all the clean punches thrown in a match. The fighter who throws down the most amount of clean punches overall in the rounds is the winner.
To make sure the punches in amateur boxing are legal, the judges make sure to see and count all of the punches are clean, any punches thrown at the side do not count as points. The deciding factors of a winner in professional boxing, however, are entirely different.
There are three judges who declare a winner at the end of each round, and the fighter who ends up winning the most rounds overall is the winner.
The Different Fighting Styles That Evolved From Boxing
Because of the success of boxing on a larger scale. A lot of new fighting styles started to come to the forefront as well. The primary examples of these styles are MMA, Kickboxing, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
MMA which is short for mixed martial arts is a sport that is rapidly increasing in fame with each passing day. The reason for the success of MMA is because it had borrowed elements from boxing and added a few of their tweaks, which gives this sport a completely different feel.
A significant difference that makes MMA stand out from other combat sports is that MMA matches are inside a cage. But contrary to what people might think, the presence of the fighting cage is only required to ensure that the MMA fighters and the people in the crowd are protected rather than increasing the fight's brutality.
An MMA fight can end in some different ways like forfeit, no contest, submission, judges’ decisions, knockout, submission and technical knockout.
Another sport that has greatly benefitted from the existence of boxing is that of kickboxing. A huge advantage that kickboxing has over other games is that you can practice it on many competitive levels, used for self-defense or even for working out. The incorporation of karate and boxing is what makes kickboxing so lethal and enticing at the same time.
The origins of kickboxing date back to the 1950s. The rules in kickboxing differ from organizations to organizations. An example of this is that while some governing bodies do not allow kicking below the waist, some organizations do.
The influence of boxing rose to new heights with the introduction of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art renowned throughout the world and is mainly a sport that is grappling based, requiring copious amount of strength and endurance.
Jiu-jitsu is a martial arts discipline that has made significant contributions to the world of mixed martial arts, evolving it into a better sport overall. Just like many other combat sports, jiu-jitsu also proves to be fruitful in self-defense.
What makes this sport so unique is that you can determine a jiu-jitsu competitor's skill through a belt grading system, with the brown belt being the highest.
It is of utmost importance that an athlete chooses the right pair of gloves for the right occasion. It is because different gloves have varying weights, sizes, styles, padding, and materials.
The main differences to keep in mind as far as combat sports gloves are concerned are training gloves and bag gloves. Almost every contact sport has training gloves and separate bag gloves, and with good reason.
The primary purpose that bag gloves serve is for a person to train on a heavy bag. Bag gloves are designed to be lighter and smaller, which allows the person who is wearing them to throw speedier punches.
Training gloves are much slower because they weigh more. Training gloves are put into use when a fighter is sparring with another person, and the presence of foam inside these gloves makes sure that the companion you are fighting with is always safe. Let us discuss the different gloves present in the combat sports world.
It is essential for boxers to choose a good pair of sparring gloves before a fight, going for just a random pair of sparring gloves without putting too much thought into it may end up with you getting bad results. These sparring gloves weigh almost about 16 ounces in training and are specially designed to make sure that your sparring companion is safe.
There are different types of sparring gloves; some have Velcro attached to them for tightening while you can compress others with the help of laces. The gloves used in competitive boxing matches are entirely different to the ones in sparring; the main difference between them is the padding of the gloves.
The filling of sparring gloves is much more in comparison to training gloves, the purpose of it purely being the protection of the sparring partner.
Amateur Competition Gloves
Competitors should always keep in mind that the gloves worn in the amateur competition are entirely different from the ones worn in professional sport.
In amateur boxing competitions, the glove requirements depend upon the weight class the competitor is fighting in addition to that they should also have the approval of the governing body of the amateur competition. The weight of these gloves is usually around 12 to 16 ounces.
Professional Competition Gloves
The weight of the gloves used in modern boxing is usually around eight to 10 ounces. Unlike training gloves, where padding is more extensive towards the front, professional boxing gloves have padding everywhere equally.
Another thing worth noticing in professional boxing gloves is that majority of them do not have the option of Velcro strap, the reason behind this is that Velcro straps tend to loosen up and open much quickly which, something that can be potentially dangerous during a match.
That is why the idea of lacing up the gloves is much more preferred everywhere as lacing tends to be tighter and does not loosen up the glove during a competitive fight.
Muay Thai Gloves
A glaring difference that you will not find in any other combat sports glove is that in Muay Thai gloves the area of the thumb is not sewn individually, in fact, the thumb area is modeled directly into the setting of the glove.
Blocking is prioritized during the modeling of Muay Thai gloves as there is a lot of padding that is present directly at the backside of the gloves. Clinching your hands is significantly more comfortable in Muay Thai gloves as the increased flexibility, and the insufficient grip bar gives the fighter more control of their hands.
Mixed martial arts gloves also have the advantage of evenly distributed padding that makes sure that the gloves are stable and fighters have a lot of mobility, but with padding not as sufficient as boxing gloves there is a disadvantage of lesser protection.
The fingertips of the professional boxer who wears MMA gloves are open, and the only parts of the hand that are not bare are the palms, knuckles and the backhand. The weight of mixed martial arts gloves that professionals wear is usually around 6 oz.
How To Pick The Right Size Of Gloves?
As mentioned multiple times previously, the size of boxing gloves makes or breaks the overall boxing experience. Choosing the correct glove size is quintessential. There are a lot of people who don't have any idea what to look for in a boxing glove or how to choose the correct boxing gloves size.
It is the fundamental knowledge that you can measure boxing gloves in ounces. The most popularly used size of boxing gloves used by boxing enthusiasts is usually around 8 to 16 ounces. It is also worth noting that the size and weight of most gloves often aren't correlated.
There are different categorized sizes of boxing gloves so that you can easily find out what size would be best suitable for you to put on. Selection in size and weight also varies with the purpose or intention of the fighter.
Some fighters choose to wear heavy gloves during training so that their hands are safer and quickly move when they are wearing comparatively lighter gloves during a competitive fight. You should keep in mind that boxing gloves require significantly more effort when compared to other gloves.
Boxing Gloves Safety Tips
No matter how many safety measures you take and no matter the amount of safety gear you are wearing, when things go wrong, they go wrong as far as boxing is concerned. But you could always be more careful to protect yourself and your gloves.
The most commonly occurring problem that probably everyone has faced is the one where your gloves wear and tear earlier than expected to cause subpar performances in training and competition. There are a few tips that you can follow and prevent these things from happening.
How To Clean Your Boxing Gloves?
You must always make sure that your gloves are free from any form of bacteria and dirt, because who would no one ever wants to get ill. Cleaning out the boxing gloves should become every boxer’s priority and here are a few suggestions and ideas to make sure that your gloves are always neat and tidy.
The reason boxing gloves get dirty so quickly is that there is no room for air to pass inside the gloves, which makes the leather and padding store our sweat and in turn becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. It would be a wise thing to carry your gloves separately from your bag on your way home.
Because glove bags are airtight as well, they will not be able to let the gloves get dry. Cleaning the outside of your gloves is essential, but a lot of people neglect washing the inside of their gloves which is equally if not more important.
A great way to clean out and disinfect your gloves from bacteria and germs is to spray vinegar and vinegar on the inside and hang them out to dry for a while. To make sure that the leather of your gloves do not get dry apply rub a couple of drops of oil or you could even get a leather conditioner and wipe it with a tidy cloth.
However, you should also keep in mind that leaving your gloves out for too long can cause more harm than good. A better substitute for drying the gloves out in the sun is to stuff the gloves with paper or dry the insides with the help of a blow dryer.
The next step to take after cleaning and drying your boxing gloves should be to make sure that they smell good and are clear from bad odors to remove the odors; the use of baking soda is a smart choice as it proves to be fruitful in eliminating odors.
After a couple of hours, clean out the baking soda with the help of a smaller vacuum cleaner. After the smell has disappeared, place some cedar chips inside your gloves, or you could even spray it with Febreeze to make sure that your gloves smell excellent at all times.
To conclude, it is fair to say that boxing is a sport that is not going to go away any time soon. In fact, it is still growing very fast. The best thing about boxing that gives it an advantage over many other sports is that you can pursue it competitively and you can even use boxing as a workout to increase muscle endurance, stamina and lose a significant amount of body fat.
It is an activity that has revolutionized the sports and fitness industry, and while the nature of the sport may seem aggressive, it is in no way, shape or forms life-threatening. It allows bringing out confidence, and you should practice it with great discipline.
Boxing is a sport that requires numerous safety measures and equipment, having these is a must-have for anyone who wishes to enter the world of boxing be it on an amateur or a professional level. We have structured a comprehensive buying guide that will help you make the right choices in all things related to boxing.