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Re: I'm a pro boxer; any questions about pro boxing let me know?
By Steve Kim (Feb 19, 2007)
In the wake of new rules that mandate that 10-ounce gloves be used in bouts below the welterweight level,
"The old rule was basically jr. middleweights and above, i.e.- 148 pounds or more, 10-ounce gloves and if you were 147 and below, you wore 8-ounce gloves. We changed hat near the end of last year to have the cut-off instead of being at welterweight, the cut-off is now at lightweight," explained Keith Kizer,
"The impetus was basically that there was nothing that says where the cut-off should be," said Kizer. "I mean you could argue in some ways that every weight class should have a different glove or they should have the same or whatever."
The first two notable bouts that were affected by this in 2007 took place between Jose Luis Castillo and Herman Ngoudjo, and Vivian Harris and Juan Lazcano. In Castillo's bout especially, it looked more like a sparring session than a real fight with the bigger mitts. Castillo wasn't aware of the new regulations until just a few days before his bout in late January.
"He was actually told when we did a little workout at the Top Rank Gym that he would have to wear 10-ounce gloves and they actually showed him the 10-ounce gloves and he said, 'They're huge. They're too big,'" said Top Rank publicist, Ricardo Jimenez, who worked closely with the Mexican standout throughout the promotion. "He put his hand in them and he said, 'I can't even feel my hands closing,' He couldn't even feel it."
Castillo would grind out a 12-round split decision, where his punches didn't seem to have the same debilitating effects in the late rounds as usual. Perhaps it was because he was facing a naturally bigger boxer, or maybe he was suffering from the effects of ring rust.
But according to Jimenez, Castillo was uncomfortable with the heavier apparatus he was forced to use.
"He goes, 'Y'know what? These gloves are just too big and I don't think I can fight with them,'" recalled Jimenez, who stated that a mad dash took place beforehand to find a pair that Castillo would be comfortable with. "We started looking for different brands of gloves - for Winning, he asked for Everlast, and we couldn't get him Winning gloves but we did get him a pair of Everlast and when he put those on, he said, 'These fit a little better. At least I have my hand in there.'"
"I don't agree with that," said cornerman Miguel Diaz. "I think now lightweights are going to be punching all night long. For the guys that can punch but are not good enough to knock you out with one punch, now those fighters are going to be exposed for 10, 12 rounds, getting hit with a lot more punches than what they used to."
Trainer Freddie Roach concurs. "I don't like it; I really think it causes a fighter to maybe take more damage. I think the one-punch knockout is much safer than taking a lot of punches. So I don't like the rule too much, it's like pillow fighting."
Joe Goossen is the most outspoken.
"By virtue of that ruling by fiat without any input from anybody of knowledge or consequence, I don't know of one lead trainer, not Freddie Roach, not Emanuel Steward, Floyd Mayweather Sr., not I - not one boxing expert and I think we can put ourselves as boxing experts at this point and time of our careers – agree with it," he says. " Because changing two ounces one way or the other isn't going to protect anybody. What it will do is make dull fights."
While bigger gloves may seem safer on the surface, the line of thinking in boxing circles is that it is just the opposite because of the accumulative effects it may foster.
"You're going to get hit with more punches," Goossen states. "And not just that, I mean, I would put it in this perspective: it goes without saying that the commission feels that anybody 140 or more now should wear 10-ounce gloves. By that rationale, the heavyweights that use the 10-ounce gloves they want for 140-pounders, 260-pound heavyweights wear the same gloves as 140-pounders. They should be having 260-pounders - by virtue of what they're doing to 140-pounders - wearing 18-20 ounce gloves.
Is it that much of a difference between 8 and 10-ounce gloves?
"Oh, definitely," said Roach, without hesitation. "It's a huge difference in some of the gloves. The puncher’s gloves, the 8-ounce Reyes and the 10-ounce Reyes, there's a lot more padding and they’re not the punchers glove anymore."
“The size of the glove in proportion to the body is so big that it's going to be like it is in sparring, hard to get your shots in a tight defense," explained Goossen. "If you think Winky Wright with his tight defense (is hard to hit), you put that type of defense on the little guys, you'll never get an uppercut in, you're never going to slide punches in. It's just too big of a glove for a little man. Their hands swim in these gloves."
every death we've had, we've had eight deaths in Nevada in the last 60-some years - every death has been with 8-ounce gloves. And not only that, seven of the eight deaths were in the upper weight classes of the 8-ounce gloves, i.e., lightweights, welterweights.
But what's interesting is that MMA fighters, many of whom are much heavier than 147 pounds, are allowed to use striking gloves which are much lighter and padded less than what is used in boxing.
Larry Hazzard, Kizer's counterpart in the state of New Jersey, has a cut-off of 160-pounds for 8-ounce gloves.
"The keys to safety lie in the medical examinations that fighters have to undergo," says Hazzard. "There's no evidence to date, no conclusive evidence that the weight of the gloves have any significant impact."
How much wear-and-tear did these boxers come into the ring with, were the bouts stopped too late and did fighters suffer significant weight loss close to the fight?
"There you go, those are the factors I think, accumulatively that comes into effect there," Hazzard agreed.
You just wonder if this edict is a direct reaction to the death of Leavander Johnson, who died shortly after his bout with Jesus Chavez in September of 2005 in Las Vegas.
"Leavander's a great example of a 135-pounder, and of course at the time of the fight they were closer to 140 or 143, so it definitely had an effect on it," Kizer says. "Again, it's an example of another fight where at that upper part, these guys are the heavier guys wearing 8-ounce gloves where you had a death."
But it has to be pointed out that Johnson had the look of a very faded fighter coming into that bout. Anyone who saw the protracted beating he took at the hands of Javier Jauregui in November of 2003 will tell you that he was a fighter that needed to be retired then, regardless of his title-winning effort a few fights later. Also, Chavez, a natural jr. lightweight, was the worst kind of fighter he could've faced in his condition - one with heavy hands, but one that didn't put away his opponents early. Also, for some inexplicable reason, that bout was never halted even though members of press row were screaming ringside that this bout needed to be stopped halfway through the proceedings.
Anyone with a trained eye could see that danger was looming for Johnson.
"There wasn't one fighter or trainer in attendance or watching it on TV that wasn't screaming by the third round, going, 'This fight should be stopped.' Once you see that uneven gait by a fighter, you know there's damage," stated Goossen.
I BELIEVE THAT LEAVANDERS PROBLEM WAS MAKING WEIGHT, AND THE WEAR AND TEAR OF ALL HIS RING WARS. WHEN JESUS WEIGHED IN THE MORNING OF THE FIGHT HE WEIGHED 144 AND LEAVANDER WEIGHED 143. i WAS SURPRISED COS WE WERE THE SMALLER GUY. JESUS JUST KEPT HITTING LEAVANDER WITH FULL BLOWN FLUSH SHOTS.
MAYBE SCRAP, DEALT, OR VIRUS CAN EXPLAIN WHY JESUS THE SMALLER GUY WEIGHED ONE POUND MORE THEN LEAVANDER THE DAY OF THE FIGHT, WAS IT A WEIGHT ISSUE OR A WEAR AND TEAR PROBLEM.
"Let me put it his way, if there was a difference between fighting at the Staples Center or in the state that mandates that the small guys wear big gloves, I would use all my energies and all of my experience and all my connections to make sure that if we had any choice, that it would be in a state where you'd use a legitimate glove," Goossen would say.
Roach echoes those statements, saying that if he had a lightweight champion, he wouldn't want him fighting in Nevada.
But Goossen just isn't buying it: "Just because it's more weight doesn't turn it into a safer punch. It's more weight being delivered at you. It will not cut you as easily and it may not stun you as easily. But what it will do is it will keep you in a fight that maybe you should've been disposed of in earlier.
"You'll take double the amount of punches that you'd normally take."
Last edited by dempsey1234; 01-24-2013 at 03:45 PM.
Reason: CLARIFYING STATEMENT