Your gear does matter. Trying to use equipment for boxing that isn’t designed specifically for boxing would be like a butcher trying to saw through meat with a butter knife.
Sure he hack through I eventually
But it will take a lot more time and a lot more effort than if he just used a butchers knife
So if you can’t afford to spend your money on boxing equipment then it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for you to ever be a good boxer.
But you will have a much more difficult path than someone who is able to invest their money into their fighting
Because gear that is made for boxers is usually designed in order to maximize output and performance while minimising injury and fatigue.
So keep reading if you want to know exactly what gear is needed in order to maximize your performance depending on what stage of boxing you're in.
For the absolute beginners who haven’t even boxed yet. These are the absolute basics that you will need before you are ready to throw your first punch.
If you don’t know what these are, they are essentially a long strip of cloth that is wrapped around your hand tightly in order to keep it protected while you are punching.
The specific brand you get isn't very important. What's important is the length you chose to use. For optimal hand protection, I would recommend no shorter than 4.5 meters or 180 inches.
Bag Gloves(10 - 12 oz gloves)
If you aren't looking to take boxing seriously then any glove will do,
However, if you think you will enjoy boxing and stick with it for years to come then getting a pair of 10-12 oz gloves will set you up for the future.
Because as you become more skilled and start to hit harder, you will want a pair of gloves specifically for the bag
These gloves need to be big enough to protect your hand but small enough that you can feel the knuckle placement on the bag to better improve your punching technique.
So if you buy them at the very beginning of your boxing career then it will save you from having to buy them later
Especially since you need gloves at the start anyway.
Once You Start Sparring
For the boxers who have been training for a couple of months, starting to feel more comfortable with their movement.
Your punches have gotten harder, your hips can move a bit faster and your footwork is beginning to flow without you needing to think about it.
So you’re finally ready to jump in the ring and start actually fighting.
But what do you need to do so?
The First thing you will need is gloves that are specifically for sparring. Instead of bag gloves that are around 10-12 oz, you will need gloves that are 16 oz
Meaning they will be a little bit heavier but that weight will come from extra padding in the glove. The reason you use these gloves isn't for you but for your partner
To keep him safe and prevent any serious head injuries. In the same way, he will need to be wearing 16s to prevent you from receiving any serious head injuries.
Especially during the first sparring session which always ends with a throbbing headache and a dripping blood nose.
I understand that there are hundreds of gloves on the market to choose from and I won’t recommend a specific glove as everyone wants and likes different things
But quality brands that you can trust include Rival, Everlast, Venom, Hayabusa, Adidas, Sting, Winning, Fly, Phenom, Cleto Reyes, and Ringside
If you think junk food and soft drink is bad for your teeth then try sparring without a mouthguard.
Because what soda and junk food can do in 5 years, sparring can do with 1 solid combination. Now in all fairness, it would need to be an extremely hard combo but anyone who’s ever done light sparring will know,
It doesn't remain “light” for very long
So if you like your teeth and want to keep your smile,
Always wear a mouth guard.
As for what mouth guard, you have 2 different options….
You can just get a boil-and-bite mouthguard from your local sporting goods store
Or you go to a specific type of company that takes a mold of your teeth and then makes a mouthguard to perfectly fit inside your mouth and around your teeth.
Now obviously the second option would be safer as the printed mouthguard would be a much tighter fit,
However, if you don't want to spend the time or money and just want a quick and easy mouthguard then I’ve never known anyone to have issues with the boil-and-bites.
Just make sure you follow the instructions carefully.
This is the one thing that I would genuinely recommend investing some money into.
Now obviously one of the reasons is to protect your head but that isn’t even the most important reason.
The most important reason is that good headgear will have the least amount of impact on your sparring
You see, while headgear does protect you, it also limits your ability to spar
Here are variables about how headgear can impact your sparring…
- Padding - Does the padding actually absorb the impact or is it just going to pass it onto your brain?
- Ventilation - After a couple of rounds of sparring, it gets hot inside your headgear. How good is it able to prevent you from overheating and feeling fatigued?
- Size - The bigger the headgear, the bigger target that your head becomes. Are you still able to move your head without getting punched?
- Vision - Headgear will block some of your vision causing more blindspots for you to get hit. How well can you see out of your headgear?
- Weight - This extra weight on your neck will make your head move slower. Are you still able to dodge punches with your head movement?
- Styles - Style isn't important to everyone but it is important to some. Does your headgear match the rest of your gear?
Personally, I would recommend a cheek protection style headgear, ideally with laces and from brands like Winning, Rival, Cleto Reyes, and Venum
Once You Start Taking It Seriously
Now you’ve been boxing for about 6 months and you are loving it.
Your now getting comfortable with your sparring, you’re able to throw more punches and you’re starting to see the punches being thrown at you.
You’re also developing a real passion for the sport and made the conscious decision to take it to the next level and have your first amateur fight
But what do you need to do so?
You may not be married right now but most boxers I know have said they want to have a family in the future
And you can’t have a family if you constantly let your babymaker get mutilated in sparring
Now I know that it is an illegal shot and most people don't aim below the belt
But when you're dealing with high-pressure situations where you only have a split second to react, accidents do happen
So when you start taking it seriously and the intensity of your sparring increases then be sure to keep your kids safe by wearing a groin guard.
Similar to the headgear, here are some variables to help you decide what groin guard will be best for you…
- Padding - Does the padding actually absorb the impact or is it just going to pass it onto your babymaker?
- Ventilation - After a couple of rounds of sparring, it gets hot inside your groin guard. How good is it able to prevent you from overheating and sweating in the worst places?
- Size - The last thing you want is a groin guard that is wiggling around your waist and destroying your focus. How well does it sit on your waist?
- Styles - Style isn't important to everyone but it is important to some. Does your groin guard match the rest of your gear?
As for brands, I would recommend Rival, Winning, Everlast, and Cleto Reyes.
The reason I recommend getting your own once you start taking things seriously is that every rope is different
Meaning that in every session you are going to need to adjust to the rope before you can start skipping effectively or practicing any tricks
This is simply a waste of time and so if you want to maximize your skipping and also learn new tricks as fast as possible then you will need your own rope,
To prevent you from constantly having to adjust to the new grip, weight, and thickness of every rope you try to use.
Now if you want a rope that is specifically made for boxing
Then you will NOT be shocked to know that there is only 1 rope on the market that is made specifically for boxers
And not only made for but trusted by over 15,000 boxers in over 25 countries.
This rope WON’T take away the burn from your hard-skipping sessions
But it will take away the unnecessary inconvenience of your rope tangling up, constantly getting caught, and making you unable to focus on the workout itself.
So just like how a butcher always prefers to cut meat with a butchers knife
A boxer ALWAYS prefers to skip with the BOXROPE.
Finally, after you have your boxing rope, you are going to need some boxing shoes
Because anyone who has boxed will tell you that your feet are just as important as your hands
So why would you not want to provide your feet with the appropriate equipment in order to maximize your performance?
How does it help performance?
The main benefits found in boxing shoes are the lightweight, direction of the grip, and foot/ankle support.
The fact that they are lightweight means that you will be able to move your legs faster
Now you may be thinking “How much faster will you actually be able to move”
The truth is you will only be slightly faster but when you only have a split second to get out of the way, that little bit of speed can go a long way.
But weight isn't the only variable you need to be concerned about
Here is the other variable to consider when looking for boxing shoes…
- Size - Do you have a wider or more narrow foot? How well will the shoe fit to your specific foot shape?
- Styles - Style isn't important to everyone but it is important to some. Does your shoe match the rest of your gear?
- Heel/ankle support - How is this prevent foot injuries in the ring?
Secret Note - Boxing shoes are still great. However recently a lot of boxers including Gervonta Davis have started to use wrestling shoes due to them being cheaper, more durable, and providing more grip.
When deciding which shoes you must also consider the fact that wrestling shoes have less ankle support and boxing shoes have less grip to allow for smoother pivoting
But deciding which is better comes down to you, your fighting style, and which benefits you want to prioritize and sacrifice.
As for brands(of boxing shoes) I recommend sticking to Nike, Everlast, Adidas, Virtuous, and Yammy Boxing
In conclusion, your gear does matter.
Just as a butcher requires the appropriate tools to cut through meat efficiently, a boxer needs specialized equipment to optimize performance while ensuring safety.
Especially as you progress to take boxing more seriously, you will start to realize that there is always going to be a pinch or tightness somewhere that could turn into a serious injury
So whether it’s a sore wrist, shoulder, elbow, ankle, or any part of your body. Your gear is one of the things that can prevent that small injury from getting much worse and making you end up in a surgical room.
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