What protection do boxing gloves provide?
It goes without saying that for a number of combat sports including boxing, kickboxing and Muay Thai, you need to use boxing gloves. In this article we’re going to take a closer look into why we use them in the first place. To understand what protection boxing gloves provide, it’s important to look back at what the sport of boxing was like before the introduction of boxing gloves and other safety measures.
Before Boxing Gloves
Boxing is one of the most widely known martial arts in the western world, and is widely practised worldwide. Boxing as a sport has been practised longer than records themselves, although the first records of any form of hand protection date back to Ancient Greece, where the fighters’ hands were wrapped in rawhide, although these were also intended as a method of causing more injury to the opponent as well.
The style of boxing gloves you would recognise today were introduced in England in the 18th century, where boxing was regaining popularity and recognition as a sport. At the time, gloves were only used for training, and fights were still performed bare knuckle. It wasn’t until the late 1800s when protective boxing gloves were made a requirement, thanks to the Queensbury Rules established in 1867 which are still the basis of sport boxing rules today.
Currently, the International Boxing Association (IBA) approves new designs of gloves according to rules around weight and the amount of leather, padding and support allowed.
Boxing gloves are used in a variety of martial arts and combat sports in addition to boxing, which has led to numerous variations of gloves depending on the sport. Muay Thai for example uses a glove which is only slightly different to boxing gloves, while MMA gloves are much smaller and less padded, with open fingers to allow much better use of the hands.