So the return of “The baddest man on the planet” Mike Tyson from retirement at the age of 54 has inspired you to pick up boxing. You have trained for months and now you’re ready for your first match. But unfortunately, you don’t know what to wear. Well, let’s go through the essentials.
First, you need to keep one thing in mind, all the things you have to wear in a boxing match has a purpose. Some give you extra protection to prevent injuries, some help you stay a bit comfortable inside the ring, some help you to move better and faster. So, it’s unwise to skip any of them.
What to Wear?
Dressing as the competitor is always the same regardless of level or venue. There are just some must-haves when it comes to competing.
The main purpose of hand wrapping is to provide a protective layer for your hands. Your hands are made of small bones with small joints that are quite fragile and can fracture from repetitive punches. It also protects the tendons and muscles and supports the wrist while impact.
Another reason to wear hand wraps is to keep the loose or moving joints of your hands in place. That way the shock is absorbed by the whole hand. If your joints move while impact, it could very well cause a fracture. Other injuries can occur as well.
Depending on the size of your hands, you can use 180” or 120” cotton wraps. Another way is to use Mexican wraps as they are semi-elastic. However, they snap a lot faster.
The main reason to use gloves is to prevent any form of hand injuries. Still, hand injuries are quite common in boxing. But, if you’ve seen a bare-knuckle boxing match, you can understand its’ importance.
Your skull has harder bones than your hands. Its’ only purpose is protecting your brain for crying out loud. So, striking your opponent’s head with your fragile hands will certainly injure the bones in your hands. Boxing gloves provide a cushion for your finger joints and give support to your wrists.
Boxing is all about momentum. Without the gloves the momentum a punch carries can cause some serious damage to your opponent, even a concussion. The larger area of boxing gloves reduces the impact of the shock and lessens the risk of permanent injuries.
To pick the right pair of boxing gloves, you first need to determine the size that fits you best. Gloves are usually measured in ounces(oz). 14, 16, 18, and 20 oz gloves are usually used for matches.
The main purpose of these is safety. Mouthguards protect your teeth from falling after being hit by a rogue punch. It’s recommended to wear one even in training or sparring. Studies show that it can enhance your performance as well.
Strangely enough, it also helps to prevent brain damage. Your jaw is attached to your skull. So, if you get hit directly on the jaw, it can have a drastic effect on your brain. Not to mention you will most likely get knocked out. A mouth guard assists in keeping the jaw in place and keeps your neck and skull stabilized.
A pair of big, loose shorts will help you move around better and stay cool. They will help in blood circulation as well. As a boxing match can last up to 12 rounds of 3 minutes, you need to stay revitalized every moment. Wearing tight shorts or smaller ones will cause you to over-heat.
A foul protector or a groin protector is your best friend as it protects your most prized possession (Let’s not go any deeper). But what many don’t know is, they go a lot higher to avoid any unprotected blows on the hips and upper thighs. That’s why boxing shorts also go higher than usual.
Male competitors can wear a sleeveless shirt but, most choose not to wear anything. Female boxers can also wear a sleeveless shirt or just a sports bra. You can wear a hooded robe as well before entering the ring. This creates a spectacle and will intimidate your opponent (if they didn’t arrive in one).
Yes, there are shoes specifically made for boxing as well. Boxing shoes tend to be a lot lighter. Thus allowing you to be agile and move quickly inside the ring. They also give you extra traction for maintaining your balance. Another cool thing is that they allow sweat to evaporate quickly so the insides are kept dry.
The difference between boxing shoes and normal training shoes is that they provide better ankle support and durability. Training shoes are made for running or workouts while boxing shoes are specifically designed while keeping the movements in a boxing match in mind.
Bonus | What to Wear to A Boxing Event as a Spectator?
Attending a boxing event can be fun with friends or even alone with the crowd. However, there can be a certain dress code to adhere to when going to these events. There’s a risk of garnering attention for the wrong reasons.
Attire for Men
The appropriate attire mostly depends on the price of the tickets. Don’t dress like you’re going to a job interview, rather dress to impress. A nice pair of slacks or jeans and a shirt should do the trick. Also, avoid wearing sneakers.
Attire for Women
Just like the men, the better the seats, the better the outfit. You need to dress more formally the closer you are to the ring. If you’re sitting a bit far, you can dress like you’d do attending a regular sporting event, but dressing sharply is recommended.
In a combat sport like boxing, protection should be your number one priority. Make sure to wear wrist wraps, boxing gloves, foul protector and mouthguard to ensure your safety as well as the safety of your opponents. Wear boxing trunks and shoes for ideal movement inside the ring.
Well, I hope you now have a grasp on what to wear to a boxing fight. Now that that’s out of the way, time to get your first knockout (Or as Michael Buffer would say “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble”).