Unboxing a new pair of boxing gloves is an exhilarating experience for boxing enthusiasts. These modern sports tools have a rich history that dates back centuries. While the earliest depictions of gloves in boxing can be traced back to 1500 BC, the gloves used in those times were quite different, often consisting of leather straps tied around the hand for protection. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating history of boxing gloves and explore how they have evolved over time.
The Invention of Modern Gloves in 1743: The modern gloves that we are familiar with today were first introduced by Jack Broughton in 1743. Initially used for self-defense instruction classes, these gloves, known as mufflers, were inspired by the ancient Greek 'cestus' but featured additional padding. Broughton used lamb's wool or horsehair padding to soften blows during training. However, it wasn't until October 1818 that the Broughton style gloves were used in a competitive fight between two unnamed boxers in France. Media reports of the time described the two champions entering the ring with their hands protected by huge padded gloves.
The Introduction of Marques Queensberry Rules in 1867: In 1867, the Marques Queensberry Rules were introduced, which made gloves mandatory in boxing matches. The rules specified that the gloves should be skintight rather than heavily padded, weighing around two ounces. These two-ounce gloves remained popular until the end of the century. The last recorded boxing fight using such gloves took place in 1903 between Jimmy Briggs and Tony Daly.
American Influence: Boxing Gloves in the USA: American heavyweight fighter John L Sullivan played a significant role in popularizing boxing gloves. He fought the first gloved heavyweight championship match against James J Corbett in 1892. Both fighters used five-ounce gloves, and Corbett emerged victorious in the 21st round by knockout. This event further cemented the use of gloves in boxing and contributed to their widespread adoption.
The 1983 Fiasco and Rule Changes: The year 1983 witnessed a significant incident involving Luis Resto, which highlighted the dangers of using unpadded gloves in boxing. Luis's trainer, Panama Lewis, tampered with his gloves by removing the padding and hardening his hand wraps with Plaster of Paris. In a fight against the undefeated Billy Collins, Luis inflicted severe damage, resulting in Collins suffering a torn iris that permanently blurred his vision. Tragically, Collins' life took a downward spiral, and he died months later in a car accident while driving under the influence. This incident prompted the New York State Boxing Commission to introduce rule changes to prevent such incidents from recurring. Luis Resto's win was changed to a no contest, highlighting the importance of safety measures in boxing.
Considerations Before Purchasing Boxing Gloves: If you're intrigued by the history of boxing gloves and considering purchasing your own pair, there are a few essential factors to keep in mind. The weight of gloves has increased over time for safety reasons and now typically varies between 8 and 10 ounces. Additionally, the padding of the gloves is crucial, with harder padded gloves recommended for training purposes and lower-priced options available. It's also essential to consider factors such as design, durability, material, and usage when choosing boxing gloves.
Handwraps: An Equally Important Gear: In addition to boxing gloves, hand wraps play a crucial role in stabilizing the fist area and providing additional support. Investing in high-quality hand wraps made from cotton is highly recommended. Hand wraps are available in different sizes, typically 120 inches or 170 inches, and are an integral part of a boxer's gear.
The journey of gloves in boxing has come a long way since their humble beginnings as leather straps. From Jack Broughton's invention of modern gloves in 1743 to the introduction of rules and regulations, gloves have become an essential aspect of the sport. Understanding the history and considerations surrounding boxing gloves allows fighters to make informed choices when purchasing the right gear for training or competition. Remember, the safety and comfort provided by well-designed gloves and supportive hand wraps contribute to an enjoyable and protected boxing experience.
Note: For quality boxing gloves visit our Boxing Gloves category to explore our range of boxing gloves suitable for various purposes.