When you hear the word combat sports, an image of shiny and sleek leather boxing gloves immediately comes to mind. Combat sports always involve gloves, they might be of different kinds, but there is always a boxing glove for combative sports; why?
Simply because boxing gloves make things safer, at Infinitude Fight, we get heart-eyed whenever we see a new pair of fresh-smelling boxing gloves, which is often.
That being said, one should also know the negative sides of using boxing gloves, prompting some groups to argue in favor of bare-knuckle Boxing – the argument being that bare-knuckle Boxing is safer.
Do boxing gloves do more damage? – And do boxing gloves hurt? In this article, we will look into these questions in detail and see why were boxing gloves invented in the first place?
For understanding the purpose of boxing gloves, it is essential to understand what Boxing – as a sport – was like before the introduction of boxing gloves.
Boxing before Boxing Gloves
When it comes to combat sports, Boxing is the biggest one of all. Besides the media presence of Boxing, it also carries a dramatic effect among the audiences and MMA enthusiasts.
Boxing is the top and most known mixed martial arts in the world, and is practiced around the world. Boxing has been around for a long time, so long that it is believed that the sport has been practiced longer than its early records.
The early records of any kind of had protection date back to ancient Greece, where the fighters wrapped their hands in rawhide while protecting the fighter who wore the rawhide; it was also used to inflict more significant damage to the opponent.
Read more: BOXING GLOVES TOP 12 FAQs
The modern look of boxing gloves that you see today was first introduced in England back in the 18th century when Boxing regained popularity and was recognized as a sport. At that time, boxing gloves were only used for training while the fights remained bare-knuckle.
The use of protective boxing gloves was made a requirement in the late 1800s, with the advent of Queensbury rules of 1867 – these rules are still in use as basic boxing rules of today. The Queensbury rules steered Boxing away from a distasteful brutal sport with large brawls and gambling and made it essentially a widely recognized and popular sport it is today.
International Boxing Association (IBA) now approves new styles and designs conferring to rules around boxing gloves weight, leather, padding, and support allowed.
Boxing Gloves Types and Limitations
Boxing gloves are not only limited to Boxing only but they are used in a variety of MMA and combative sports, which in turn gave rise to various glove variations and styles. In Muay Thai, the glove is slightly different from boxing gloves, whereas MMA gloves are small in size and have less padding with open fingers to help with the better movement of hands.
How Do Boxing Gloves Work?
Why were boxing gloves invented? – Boxing is a bit more restricted when compared to other martial arts. For instance, in Boxing, you can only use your fists to strike.
This is good for skill development but puts an immense intensity of strikes on the body and head. Before the introduction of modern rules, Boxing was extremely dangerous, and there were many factors to this.
First of all – the environment – absence of medicine and health care and no standards in refereeing, plus the lack of boxing gloves. Boxing without using boxing gloves means throwing a swift punch that combined without any cushion of padding multiplies and condenses the impact.
This essentially means a higher risk of tempering/cutting the opponents’ skin and breaking your own bones. Lack of boxing gloves facilitated the dirty tactics; without the gloves, accidental and intentional eye-gouging was always a possibility.
To boxing gloves’ credit, they do solve a lot of these issues, and in addition, gloves naturally form a fist shape for the hand – adding a layer of protection (padding) to the back of the hand, fingers, and the thumb.
Similarly, padding controls/reduces the acceleration of the fist and reduces the intensity of impacts on both hands of the wearer and their opponent. In essence, boxing gloves increase the safety in Boxing to a much greater extent.
Read more: WHAT EQUIPMENT YOU NEED FOR BOXING?
The Downside of Boxing Gloves
With boxing gloves – things can get a bit out of control and cause long-term effects. At the face value, boxing gloves do absorb and reduce the shock factor of the punches to the head and other vulnerable areas; however, this isn’t the complete big picture.
Hear us out, how hard would you punch a wall without any kind of hand protection? Then, think how hard you will throw a punch to the wall when you know your hands are well protected? – Much harder!
Boxing and Protection Boxing Gloves Provide
The above argument applies to a boxing dual. You have to throw your punches very carefully for bare-knuckle Boxing to avoid breaking your hand on the opponent’s head. This changes with the use of boxing gloves, as there is no need to worry about personal safety, leading the boxers to hit their opponent’s head harder and more frequently – increasing the risks of concussions and brain injury.
The stats for CTE – chronic traumatic encephalopathy – in combat sports are increasing every year. Many boxers now suffer from mental illness and traumatic brain injuries owing to the low emphasis on protection.
Fighters go through a number of fights in their careers, yet the training/gym impacts buildup slowly with time. Hard sparring takes a significant toll on a boxer’s overall health, and the general attitude is now changing.
Smaller and minimum padding gloves are still used in fights, but training boxers use heavily padded gloves to slow down punches.
Tip: Always spar with reduced power of the punches so you can practice skills without causing invisible injuries.
Boxing is a combative sport that requires attacking your opponent, and so it can never be completely safe, but it is also essential to understand which boxing gloves do and do not protect you from long-term damage.