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Boxing Gloves Weight Classes Explained

boxing gloves weight

Those who are just starting with boxing might be quite confused about the whole boxing glove sizing, weight classes, weight matching with appropriate gloves, etc.

Don’t worry, that’s why I’ve decided to put together a comprehensive guide with a nice table, so you know how what boxing gloves to choose and why.

The Importance of Weight Classes in Boxing Gloves

So, why do weight classes matter?  Why are boxing gloves measured by weight rather than size?

In the land of boxing gloves, “oz” isn’t the magical place with a yellow brick road – it’s just an abbreviation for “ounce,” a unit of weight that has nothing to do with wizards or flying monkeys. The weight of boxing gloves, measured in ounces, encompasses the padding, outer material, and probably the sweat of champions past. To put it simply, the number before “ounces” represents the weight of a single glove (not size).

The weight of the gloves influences a variety of factors like protection, striking power, and speed – think of it as the secret sauce that makes each glove unique. Different glove weights cater to different whims, whether you’re looking to train like Rocky, spar like a pro, or show off in competitions.

Using the wrong gloves can lead to injuries and make your training less effective. So, let’s dive into the world of glove weights and find your perfect match (pun intended). Just remember, with great glove weight comes great responsibility!

Boxing Gloves Weights: The Usual Suspects

In the world of boxing gloves, weights typically range from 8 oz to 20 oz. While this may sound like a small window, each weight class offers a unique experience. Here’s a quick rundown of the most common glove weights:

  • 8 oz and 10 oz: These lighter gloves are often used in professional boxing matches, where speed and power are essential. They offer less padding, which might not be ideal for training but can pack a punch in competition.
  • 12 oz: If you are looking for still quite low resistance, yet 10 oz’s won’t do, the 12 oz gloves are the perfect middle ground. Ideal for those who want a balance between protection and striking power.
  • 14 oz and 16 oz: Heavy hitters. These fellas are great for sparring and provide extra padding for your hands and your partner’s face. They’re the go-to choice for most boxing gyms and amateur competitions.
  • 18 oz and 20 oz: If you have a serious need for protection or you’re just looking to build some extra strength in your arms, these heavyweights are for you. They offer maximum padding and protection, making them perfect for heavy bag work and building endurance.

Note: some types of sparring gloves differ in design a bit, so make sure you get appropriate gloves for your needs. Also you should talk to your trainer to make sure you are 100% on the same page.

How to Choose the Right Weight Class for You

Now that you know your options let’s find your perfect glove weight. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Your weight: Generally, the heavier you are, the heavier your gloves should be. This provides the necessary protection for your hands and your sparring partner. Here’s a rough guideline:
    • Under 120 lbs: 12-14 oz
    • 120-150 lbs: 14-16 oz
    • 150-180 lbs: 16-18 oz
    • Over 180 lbs: 18-20 oz
  1. Your personal experience: Beginners may want to opt for heavier gloves to ensure maximum protection during training. As you gain experience and develop proper technique, you can transition to lighter gloves.
  2. Your training goals: If you’re training for competition, it’s essential to practice with gloves that match the weight you’ll be using in the ring. For general fitness and conditioning, heavier gloves can help build endurance and strength.

Comparison Table

Boxer’s WeightBoxing Gloves WeightMuay Thai Gloves Weight
Under 120 lbs12-14 oz10-12 oz
120-150 lbs14-16 oz12-14 oz
150-180 lbs16-18 oz14-16 oz
Over 180 lbs18-20 oz16-18 oz (optional)

Muay Thai Gloves: A Slightly Different Story

Now while traditional boxing gloves focus on protecting the hands and wrists during punches, Muay Thai gloves have a slightly different design to accommodate the unique needs of this martial art.

Muay Thai fighters use not only punches but also kicks, knees, and elbows, so their gloves need to provide additional flexibility and protection. Let’s take a look at Muay Thai glove weights:

  • 10 oz: These lightweight gloves are perfect for Muay Thai fighters focusing on speed and agility. They’re suitable for pad work, light bag work, and training, but not recommended for sparring due to their limited padding.
  • 12 oz: Offering a balance between protection and mobility, 12 oz gloves are a popular choice for Muay Thai training. They’re versatile and can be used for pad work, bag work, and light sparring.
  • 14 oz and 16 oz: Similarly to boxing gloves, these are as well the go-to choice for sparring, these gloves provide ample padding for both you and your partner. They’re also great for building endurance during heavy bag work and intense training sessions.
  • 18 oz: Although not as common in Muay Thai, some fighters opt for 18 oz gloves for maximum protection during heavy bag work or to build arm strength and stamina.

As I have pointed out before, remember, the right glove weight will depend on your specific needs, goals, and training regimen. It’s always a good idea to consult with a coach or experienced training partner to ensure you’re making the best choice for your training development.

In Conclusion

There you have it, boxing gloves weight classes (hopefully) explained. While there are definitely other articles explaining similar info, I doubt they made such a nice comparison table, haha. Remember, choose wisely, and please, punch responsibly.

Jake Dennon

I am an avid sports enthusiast who has been fortunate enough to train with some of the best athletes and coaches in the world.

As a child, I had a keen interest in martial arts (karate). I've trained with one of the best trainers in my home country.

Moving into my teenage years I tried everything from calisthenics to weight lifting to Taekwondo and everything in between. While I do love all kinds of sports, my passion still lies in martial arts.

The combat sport coaches I have been trained by have also trained some of the top fighters in the industry. All of these brilliant trainers (and all the ones in between) have shown me just how rewarding keeping fit and healthy can be.

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