The sport of boxing uses padded gloves during it’s sanctioned bouts to protect both the boxers hands and their opponent, minimising any permanent damage inflicted. So how do boxing the sizes of gloves work?
Boxing gloves are measured by weight, not traditional sports attire sizing and range from 6 oz up to 20 oz for a heavyweight boxer. They are proportionate in size to the person wearing them when measuring your height, how much you weigh and the circumference of your dominant hand.
In professional boxing weight divisions range from flyweight at 105 lbs (48 kg) right up to heavyweight, which is everything over 200 lbs (91 kg) up. So having a boxing glove which fits perfectly can be the difference between a knockout punch and a points victory. And to ensure the measurement for the glove is taken correctly there are a few critical steps involved.
How to Measure Yourself for a Boxing glove
When measuring yourself for a boxing glove, your height and weight are of importance. But they are not as important as the measuring of the hand itself.
Using a fabric tape measure, open your dominant hand with palm facing up, wrapping the tape around the palm just below the knuckles. The tape should meet in the centre of the palm to make sure you get as accurate a reading as possible.
If you don’t have tape, just use a piece of string or something similar which can serve as an alternative. And always measure twice to make sure you are getting the most precise reading.
Boxing gloves are weighted as opposed to sized to allow for the different types of situations in which they will be used. Gloves for pad work will usually be the thinner less padded type. Whereas when sparring in the gym you would need thicker, heavier padded gloves.
If you have ever watched boxing sparring, especially when no headgear is being worn, you will have noticed the unusually large size of the gloves being used. The weight may be smaller when wearing headgear to more realistically mimic the gloves you would be using come fight night.
On top of all this, boxing gloves from different manufacturers will have a different fit. Think of any time you have gone and bought an item of clothing from a specific store or designer and how it fits your body. Boxing gloves are no different and that is why fighters usually have a specific brand they like to wear.
Different Types of Boxing Gloves
As previously mentioned there are gloves for the different types of training and or fighting scenarios in which they are being used. While amateur or hobbyist boxers may have quite a limited selection. Professional fighters will have several sizes from which to choose during their fight training camp.
General Training Gloves
These are usually the gloves most people buy in their local sports store. The all-round glove that lies somewhere in the middle in terms of weight, but are mostly weighted in the 16 oz range.
They offer enough padding so that they can be used on the boxing bag and when light sparring, so perfect for the part-timers out there. A good choice for someone who is looking to see if they like the sport before getting too specialised and spending their money unnecessarily.
Gloves For Hitting The Bag
Designed so that the fighter maintains good form when hitting the heavy bag. These gloves actually have less padding in the knuckle area when compared to the training gloves.
The reason for this is so the boxer can feel the impact on the bag and know when they are punching correctly. Bad form or an awkward punch and the boxer will feel it through the glove. Thereby forcing them to adjust how they are throwing the punch.
Gym Sparring Gloves
As part of the sport, sparring is essential and these gloves will always have some additional padding. The idea behind sparring is to simulate the fight situation without the fighter getting hurt before the bout itself.
So for this very reason sparring gloves will always be heavier due to this extra padding. And with the padding they will also be larger in size, sometimes a lot larger.
Boxing Competition Fight Gloves
With less padding in the knuckle area, these gloves are designed specifically for the fight. Gone is the additional padding we see in any sparring or training gloves. Competiton gloves are built in such a way that you are able to better feel the strikes land on your opponent.
While most standard gloves you buy in your everyday sports store will be mass-produced using latex foam padding. The more expensive or professional gloves can be made from horsehair or injected moulded foam gel.
Professional vs Amateur Boxing Glove Sizes
Professional boxing gloves differ from the amateur, in the sizes and designs available. While professional gloves fall into two weight sizes.
- With fighters under the 147 lb limit will use the 8 oz weight.
- And fighters in the 154 lb weight division and above using 10 oz gloves.
For amateur boxers, there are three main weight sizes when it comes to their gloves.
- Fighters under 141 lbs will use 10 oz gloves.
- Fighters in from 152 lbs up to 201 lbs will use 12 oz gloves.
- Fighters over the age of 41 (Masters division) will use 16 oz gloves.
Some Final Thoughts
If you are a teen or adult and just starting out in the sport, the best all-around size is usually the 16 oz boxing training glove. As mentioned above, its a good midsize weight and offers both the protection to your hands and opponent for light sparring.
Should things develop and you begin to become better and apply yourself more, you should then consider buying some other gloves for more specific training and competition. Your coach will best be able to advise you on what they think is most suitable for you.
But overall the most important thing to remember is that you wear a glove that suits your specific needs. Whether a novice beginner or a more seasoned pugilist. Having he right equipment with which to train and compete is a key part to you performing to your very best.