Why Do Boxers Wear Gloves – The Story You Never Knew

I started looking into why do boxers wear gloves and uncovered some really cool information.

Read to the end you don’t want to miss any of these details!

Content Preview

Brief history of Why Boxers Wear Gloves:

Fighting has been around since the beginning of time.  According to the Bible, the 3rd person on the planet (Cain) killed his brother (Able).

Fast Forward to the Ancient Greece where Bare Knuckle Boxing was common.  Often times bare knuckle boxing was combined with wrestling and may or may not use weapons. 

Why Boxers Started Wearing Gloves:

The start of boxers wearing gloves

In the 1800s a guy named Jack Broughton trained people about his village how to box and street fight.  Back then, the people who used to box were normally the tougher guys around the neighborhood and didn’t mind getting a black eye while sparring bare knuckled.

That is when one day, a few of the wealthier, higher class people from the village approached Jack because they wanted to learn how to box.  While they wanted to learn how to box, they did not like the idea of getting punched in the face with someone’s bare knuckles and couldn’t go back to work the next day with a face full of bruises.

So Jack created the ‘Muffles’ -> The first type of boxing glove ever! This is the very beginning of why boxers do wear gloves!

Fast forward to the 1900s and boxing gloves were common.

Soon after, Boxing Gloves were a big part of the reason Boxing Matches become legal again.
(Yes, at one point, bare knuckle boxing matches were illegal!)

Why Do Boxers Wear Gloves:  2 Part Response

Part 1) Protect the Boxers Hand

Boxers wear gloves to protect their hands and joints

The bones in your skull are much stronger than the bones/joints in your hand.

This means if you punch someone on the top of their head as hard as you can, you will hurt your hand way more than it will hurt their head.  (Of course, getting punched in the face is a whole different story)

Back in the days of Bare Knuckle Boxing, the fighting strategy was much different.

Many of the fights would end with both boxers having a broken hand or 2.

Boxers were not able to throw a flurry of punches at someones head (because if a few strong enough punches to someones skull will break your hand)

Now with the use of boxing gloves, boxers are able to throw flurries of strong punches and no matter where those punches land, the fighter does not risk breaking his hand.

Other benefits of gloves, including why gloves are important when boxing at home with a punching bag, is they project your joints and wrist.  Whenever I am punching the bag, wearing gloves allows me to stop when my muscles get tired compared to my joints getting sore. Of course, anytime you are punching anything with force, you want to make sure you properly hit the punching bag to prevent injury.

Part 2) Protect the Opponent’s Face

Boxers wear gloves to protect their opponents face

When Boxers Wear Gloves, it also protects their opponent face and body.

Not only does the padding soften the blow, but also because of the size of the glove, it also widens the area of impact, minimizing the damage.

Boxing Gloves Prevent a Blood Bath

The use of gloves makes boxing seem less violent.  Compared to knuckles meeting bare face, which causes bruising, swelling, cuts and lots of blood -> When boxers wear gloves, it makes a larger impact area, so less bleeding occurs.

Do Boxers Wearing Gloves Cause More Concussion Debate:

You may have heard the debate that bare knuckle boxing is safer than wearing gloves.

How can this be?  Let’s dive in:

Bare Knuckle Boxing:  If an opponent is losing and continually taking punches to their head, the bare knuckles will quickly knock them down.

Wearing Gloves while Boxing:  If an opponent is losing and continually taking punches to their head, when being hit with boxing gloves, they can get punched in the head many more times before falling over.  Apply this to an entire boxing career, where a boxer could be getting punched in the head 1,000s of extra times.  Causing that many more concussions and brain damage.

I have not done enough research to know what the correct answer is, but feel free to leave and comments or thoughts you have on it below.

Why Do Boxers Wear Gloves with Different Weights?

Why boxers wear gloves that are different weights.

Boxing gloves generally come in 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 ounces. 

10-12 ounces:  These gloves are normally used for boxing workouts from home with a punching bag.  Also work great for speed bags or mitts.

14 ounces:  Is a good all around glove.  This is in the middle, so good for heavy bag as well as can be used for sparring.  These are a great option if you want to add an additional layer of difficulty to your work out.

16-18 ounces:  This weight is generally used for sparring.  They provide extra padding and protection to help prevent damage to your sparring partners face.  They can also be used if you want a heavier glove with more padding while working the punching bag.

Professional Boxing Match Glove Weight:

It depends on the organization, but professional boxing gloves normally weigh 8-10 ounces.

Lace up vs Velcro Boxing Gloves for Beginners – what you need to know!

Lace vs Velcro for boxing gloves

For beginners, you are going to want to start with Velcro Gloves.

Along with picking the right gloves, there are many different tricks and tips for beginners to get maximum results.

Velcro gloves do a great job when boxing from home.  Lace gloves often require another person’s help in order to put them on.  Velcro gloves are quickly taken on and off even when you are all alone.  


I hope you enjoyed learning more about the history of boxing gloves and why boxers do wear gloves. I thought this was going to be a simple answer, but turned out to be a lot of cool information! If you are just getting started, you will love all the benefits of boxing from boxing at home!

Thank you for checking out my blog.

Leave a Comment