Bag Gloves Vs. Sparring Gloves
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Boxing gloves are designed differently depending on the intended use. They range in weight and style to fit the boxer's preferences. Generally, the padding on boxing gloves protect both of the boxers in a fight or in practice.
Boxing originated in Ancient Greece, but fighters used only their bare knuckles. Boxing gloves did not gain popularity until the 19th century when a bare-knuckled boxer named Jack Broughton invented a padded glove, named "mufflers," for his students to wear. His gloves never appeared in a championship fight, but the concept of using hand protection caught on and became mandatory over the next few decades. Throughout the 20th century, gloves changed into the recognizable form and shape they have today. As training and equipment evolved, different types of boxing gloves appeared for specific uses, such as bag gloves and sparring gloves.
Because of the small weight, bag gloves offer less padding. Bag gloves best simulates fight gloves, the type of glove used when boxing another boxer in a match. In fact, the same pair of gloves can work for both punching bags and boxing matches.
Sparring gloves offer more padding than bag gloves or fight gloves. Sparring is when two boxers practice fighting each other. Because a spar is just practice, the thicker gloves protect both boxers. Boxers often use padded helmets and face guards in sparring matches for extra protection.
To protect a boxer from injury, both bag gloves and sparring gloves come reinforced with thick padding or leather on the wrist and around the knuckles for added support.
A boxer uses thinner gloves when fighting in a boxing match to inflict the most damage possible to the other fighter while still protecting his knuckles, hands and wrists from injury. These thinner gloves deliver more force because there is less padding to absorb the impact. When training, boxers use these gloves on punching bags because it best simulates a fight while still offering protection.
When a boxer practices against another person instead of a bag, the main purpose of heavier sparring gloves is to protect the person getting punched. As an added benefit, the thicker gloves give even more protection to the person throwing the punch, minimizing the chance for injury.
Bag gloves usually weigh between 8 to 10 oz., though there is no specific regulation to what a glove must weigh when using a punching bag, so the fighter is free to use whatever weight he feels most comfortable with. Sparring gloves range from 14 to 20 oz., with most falling in the middle of that range.
Even punches thrown while wearing gloves can inflict serious damage. Consult a professional source on proper techniques and equipment. Never box or spar unless you have a padded area that is clear of debris. Always inform both boxers of the rules about what areas of the body they can punch, how hard to throw punches and what type of gloves are acceptable for that boxing match or spar. Boxers should wear mouth guards to protect their teeth.
According to BoxingGyms.com, even well-known companies offer low-quality gloves for a low price. But your equipment should be able to handle the stress and wear that comes with boxing. Shop for quality first, not just the lowest price.
Scott Ficklin started writing professionally in 2010. His writing appears at Scribendi, Bloguin and Top-Law-Schools.com. He also runs a blog dedicated to college sports. Ficklin has a Bachelor of Science in English from Utah State University and is pursuing a Juris Doctor at the University of Oregon.