TIME FOR SMALLER BOXING GLOVES!
GLOVES PROTECT HANDS BUT NOT HEADS
Las Vegas, NV- Much can be learned from the recent events in boxing in the last month. A fortnight ago journeyman Frankie Leal (20-8-3, 13 KOs) died from injuries sustained in a featherweight (126 lb.) bout in Mexico. Saturday night, heavyweight prospect Magomed Abdusalamov (18-1, 18 KOs) waged a vicious battle and lost a decision (UD 10) to Mike Perez (20-0, 12 KOs) on HBO.
MAGO FIGHT LATEST TRAGEDY
As a result Abdusalamov, a Russian born fighter now fighting in the US, lays in a medically induced coma due to swelling in his brain brought about by a brain bleed. His condition according to reports from his team has likely worsened as he also suffered a stroke while in critical condition. Many theories have arisen on whether or not his corner should have stopped the bout, and there is much blame being thrown around. It seems rather unfair considering while possibly concussed throughout, he always appeared to be in the fight and while absorbing punishment, got in his fair share of blows in every round. The significance of the bout has to be taken into context. The winner would become a significant player in the heavyweight landscape. While many can say they should have saved their fighter from further peril, it would have been impossible for them to know his internal condition.
COMMISSIONS NEED TO MODIFY GLOVE SIZE
A view taken by Pedro Fernandez, and one that I concur with is that the main reason for brain injury and or concussions in boxing is due to the size of the gloves. Fighters over 147 lbs. must use 10 ounce gloves. Any fight below 147, fighters use 8 ounce gloves. To bring things in perspective, gloves were brought into boxing largely in part used to protect a fighters hands. However, the larger gloves also tend to inflict more damage to opponents. It seems illogical to have a 240 lb. man for example, wear the same sized glove as a figh ter of 154 lbs. In comparison, a 147 lb. fighter wears the same sized glove as someone engaging in a 108 lb. bout, a 39lb difference in weight. Discretion needs to be taken. I don’t think that it can be anymore clear and there’s evidence to support this theory.
MMA FIGHTERS WEAR SMALLER GLOVES & GET FAR LESS CONCUSSIONS
It is rare that you see a fighter knocked out early in a fight and sustain a career or life threatening injury. In boxing, the larger gloves allow fighters to absorb more blows. In essence, the big pillows that fighters wear on their hands prolong bouts. In many of the bouts the inevitable is that a fighter will lose a lopsided decision and take more blows than necessary. Smaller gloves will lead to more knockouts, more decisive and conclusive outcomes and save some fighters from taking round after round of sustained punishment. As Fernandez has noted numerous times on Ring Talk radio that , in a five year Nevada study, MMA fighters only suffered concussions in 2% of their bouts, in boxing around 20%. It is common knowledge that MMA fighters wear a smaller 4 ounce glove, where their fingers are free to allow for grappling. I will add that in boxing that the target area for boxing is only above the waist, but one must believe that the smaller sized MMA gloves aids in fighters not gaining long term head injuries. MMA fighters take less blows, but they are still sustaining some punishment to the head nonetheless.
RESULTS WILL BE MORE DEFINITIVE
A logical conclusion is that you may see less controversy in fights. There will be more KO’s, and if a fighter is actually taking punishment it will be more pronounced and will occur earlier in fights. There is no reason for fighters to go twelve rounds and in some instances absorb over 200 hard punches from an opponent whose main mission is to inflict damage to the head and body. I ask the question here; what is more important to a fighters future? Their hands or their head?
Mr.Perry plans on starting a weekly mailbag column: Questions for Mr.Perry can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.