Unboxing new gloves takes you on a ride. The adrenaline, the vibrant color, the buff exterior, trio that stops heartbeats of boxing enthusiasts. Modern boxing gloves were not crafted overnight; the shiny sports tool has history going back centuries. First depictions of gloves in boxing date back to 1500 BC, the gloves back then were different, usually only straps of leather tied around the hand for protection.
Modern gloves have become beefier than their ancestors and certainly more comfortable. Boxing gloves are tailored around your needs, durable and light to the use, they ease your arms and fists and help minimize effort.
Boxing Gloves were First Used in 1743
Jack Broughton in 1743 invented the modern gloves. At first these gloves were used for self-defense instruction classes, think punching bags and padded walls. The design of mufflers, as they were called, was based on ancient Greek ‘cestus’ with the difference lying in the padding – interestingly – either lamb’s wool or horsehair – Broughton used this padding to soften blows.
The maiden use of Broughton style gloves in a competitive fight was not until October 1818, between two un-named boxers in France. The first ever media report of the gloves stated, ‘The two champions were built like Hercules, they entered the ring with their hands guarded with huge padded gloves’.
“Marques Queensberry Rules” 1867
In 1867 with the introduction of Marques Queensberry Rules, Gloves became mandatory and were officially recognized in 1892. The gloves would be skintight rather than padded, weighing two ounces. The two ounce gloves remained popular until end of the century with last such boxing fight between Jimmy Briggs and Tony Daly taking place in 1903.
Boxing Gloves USA – 1890’s
American heavyweight fighter John L Sullivan is credited to have popularized gloves the most. He fought the first gloved heavyweight championship, against James J Corbett in 1892. Five-ounce gloves were used by both fighters, Corbett won the match in 21st round by knockout.
The 1983 Fiasco
Luis Resto incident of 1983 proved just how dangerous is the use of unpadded gloves. As a junior-middleweight fighter, Luis inflicted terrible beating with his tampered gloves, to the undefeated Billy Collins.
The padding from Luis’s gloves was removed with tweezers by his sneaky trainer Panama Lewis. It was revealed later that Panama Lewis soaked Luis’ handwarps in Plaster of Paris , hardening them into plaster casts, capable of doing more damage.
Collins suffered a torn iris that permanently blurred his vision, putting an end to his boxing career. Many believe that loss of livelihood for Collins drove him into a downward spiral. He died months later, driving while intoxicated. His father, trainer Billy Sr believed that Collins, his son, committed suicide.
This incident prompted the change of rules by New York State Boxing Commission, preventing such an incident from happening again. Luis’ win was also changed to a no contest.
Before you Buy Boxing Gloves
Thinking about your very own unboxing of those padded treasures?
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Before you head out to get your own pair, characteristics of the gloves should be considered.
The weight of gloves has increased, for safety, it now varies between 8 to 10 ounces. Plus, padding of the gloves is as important, if you are buying gloves to train, buy the hard padded gloves. Hard padded gloves are only for training purposes, (or to take your stress out on a punching bag) but not for a dual. These gloves are lower in price and if used with care, can last you a long time, depending on your use.
Features of Boxing Gloves
Knowing about the gloves you are purchasing is advised. Keep in mind the basic essentials, be it design, padding, durability, material, and use.
Usually three types of paddings are used in gloves. Horsehair padding, foam padding or a combination of both. In foam padding gloves, ideally latex and PVC is used along with shock absorber. Horsehair gloves will last you longer than foam padding gloves and are environmentally friendly, albeit less protective.
Boxing gloves come in two types, lace-ups or Velcro. The Velcro acts as a second handwrap adding more stability to the wrist. While lace-up gloves ensure a sung and secure fit, they require assistance from another person to lace them up. Lace-up gloves can be converted into Velcro gloves with hook and loop converter.
Glove price can fall between anywhere between $35 to $500, while the average cost of a good pair of gloves is $100. The price depends upon many factors such as material, brand, genuine leather, types- heavy bag gloves, competition gloves, gloves for sparring.
Glove color is restricted to red or blue for amateur boxing matches, usually with a white scoring area at knuckles to let judges see and record points for a proper punch.
If you are going to buy boxing gloves, go for good quality hand wraps, which assist in stabilizing the fist area. Boxing Hand wraps are just as important as your gloves, splurge on them and they will prove their worth. Hand-wraps are usually made from cotton and have either 120-inch size or 170-inch.