Gloves are a staple of modern boxing all over the planet, and they serve their purpose. They are meant to add some padding to protect the hands of the puncher and the face of the opponent. However, things can go wrong if left unsecured, leaving both parties unprotected.
So why do boxers tape their gloves? In General, glove tape is intended to prevent scratches, scrapes, and cuts from loose laces or velcro. It secures the lace or velcro in place, ensuring the gloves stay in place for the duration of the match. Lastly, glove tape offers an extra level of wrist support.
Taping the gloves is often overlooked by most since it usually is only ever done in competition. Nevertheless, it can serve its purpose in the ring and may prove its effectiveness in the heat of battle. No fighter wants to be scratched or have their gloves fall off, so we’ll investigate why boxers tape their gloves in this article.
Why Do Fighters Need To Tape Their Gloves?
With the new invention of Velcro in the 1950s, the boxing glove industry was about to change. In our contemporary times now, we find that most boxers start with velcro gloves and only use lace-ups for competition or style.
Whichever style you choose, you may want to tape your gloves on competition day. This is because taping your gloves requires help from a friend and takes some time, luxuries not found on a typical training day. The tape also handles problems that would be considered trivial during a training day.
For instance, if your glove is beginning to slip off, you can just tell your training partner, and he’ll let you readjust. In a tournament, however, you would likely have to wait for the round to end to fix something like that, so it would be better to come prepared.
Keep The Gloves Secured
The most important reason to tape the gloves is to keep them secured. In a match, velcro or laces can come undone, causing the glove to slip. If left unchecked, the glove may come off completely; however, this is unlikely. The tape secures the laces or velcro, so they have no chance of coming undone, allowing for you to focus on the task at hand rather than the reliability of your gloves.
Securing velcro or laces is also important because it prevents scrapes and scratches. The lace closures on lace-up gloves are a perfect cutting device, which calls for some kind of tape. Also, while using lace-ups, someone else has to tie them for you, so it doesn’t hurt to tape them often.
When it comes to velcro, if the strap is not the right length, then scratches are inevitable. These scratches are usually just a part of regular training. Still, in competition, they should be prevented in the spirit of professionalism.
Finally, tape on the gloves adds extra support to the wrist. While hand wraps and gloves themselves already have some scaffolding for your wrist, tape adds yet another layer. Wrist support is crucial since the wrist is where most of the pressure goes, especially when a bad punch is thrown.
If you punch with a bent wrist, your chances of injury skyrocket. However, the more layers of wrist support you have, the harder it is to throw a punch in that manner. This leads to better punches being thrown and protection, just in case.
Tapping the gloves is not vital during training if you don’t mind a few scrapes and having a good partner. But in competition, professionalism is important, and that’s what tape is for. It may save you some distraction and make your gloves feel more secure as well, which is a huge plus. So, get your buddy to tape your gloves on tournament day.
What Kind Of Tape Do Boxers Use On Their Gloves?
Any athletic or “boxing tape” will work on the gloves. It is important to have tape that doesn’t stretch and sticks well enough that it won’t come off. A wide roll of tape is best for taping gloves or even hands if you decide to. 4cm should do.
When taping the gloves, make sure to put 2-4 layers of tape over the glove and tighten it. If not obvious, you want to tape the area below the “fist” of the glove so that you’re only on the bottom portion.
Why Do Boxers Wrap Their Hands Before Putting On Gloves?
Hand wraps serve various purposes, but the main goal is to make the hand into a solid fist. Each hand is comprised of 27 bones, and if one of them decides to shift during the impact, your entire hand will feel useless. Wraps keep everything in one solid ball, this allows you to punch harder without worrying, and it keeps everything safe.
Wraps also put a layer of protection over the knuckles so that they don’t tear them when your gloves shift around. Shifting gloves can cause your hands to shred and tear, but tight wraps don’t shift. This keeps your hands and knuckles safe from unnecessary pain.
Finally (and most importantly), wraps serve as a way to keep odors at bay. By soaking up the sweat in your hands, cloth wraps keep your gloves from becoming infested with bacteria. I’m not saying that you don’t have to clean your gloves; all I’m saying is that wraps help with odors.
So wash your wraps daily and clean out your gloves as often as needed. Wraps are there to prevent any unnecessary and excessive damage to the hands.
Is It Okay To Punch A Bag Without Wraps?
Most boxers punch the heavy bag with gloves and wraps, but some choose to hit it bare-fisted. While this may initially hurt, it is useful in developing tougher skin, hand musculature, and tendons/ligaments. If you choose to try this, try with only wraps first and then transition to no protection.
The technique here is key. Some crucial points are tightening the fist before hitting the bag, hitting with a flat fist rather than just a portion of your hand, and maintaining a solid, straight wrist. Again, practice with just wraps initially to get the hang of it. Once you feel confident, you can transition to no protection.
Do Heavier Or Lighter Gloves Hit Harder?
Sparring gloves are usually around 18-22 ounces, much heavier than competition gloves which are closer to 14 ounces. This is because the more padding, the more the punch is cushioned from the fist. More cushioning means less chance of being knocked out.
If you want to hit harder, don’t rely on the size of your gloves. Instead, focus on improving your technique and explosivity. That will make you a truly formidable force. Something that I saw while looking into this is that George Foreman used to wear 22oz custom sparring gloves and still knock people out. That just goes to show his inhuman punching power!
Can You Box With Just Wraps?
If you feel particularly dangerous, you can, but I do not recommend it. Bare-knuckle boxers do this all the time, and it’s been growing in underground popularity for some time now. Both fighters have some risks involved, but if you want to try this painful sport, go for it.
Some people also try boxing without any protection on their hands. Still, these people are extremely tough and have no fear of anything. So, in short, you can box with just wraps but don’t say I didn’t warn you.