Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor will do battle on August 26. In last Thursday's Fightful Boxing Newsletter, Carlos Toro dissected the conditions that McGregor mentioned were put on the fight that seem to favor Mayweather. You can see more great stories like this in the Fightful Boxing Newsletter, releasing every Thursday.
One of the conditions for the fight that were mentioned during the initial press conference, including the type of gloves that will be used in the August 26. McGregor made a passing comment about the gloves being used for this clash.
“All these rules, all these restrictions, it doesn’t faze me – it amuses me. The gloves, they have to be 10 ounces. 154 pounds. He’s never fought at 154 pounds; I think he’s fought at 154 pounds once. He wants the gloves up, no problem. I’ll wear 10 ounces. No Mexican-made gloves. No gloves made from horse hair. OK, no problem. We’re wearing gloves in our game for about five years, so I don’t give a f*ck about gloves. It’s funny to me. All I need is a gum shield, line me up in the ring, and I’m good to go,” McGregor said.
I have seen some confusion and I have been asked by a number of people about this particular matter. To the untrained eye, all gloves used in boxing appear to be the same, but they’re an incredibly important part of boxing that has gone largely unnoticed for many years.
In dissecting what McGregor said, both fighters are fighting using 10-ounce gloves. This part is true and there has been some questions as to whether or not Mayweather demanded the fight to be contested using 10-ounce gloves. To answer the glove weight question, no, Mayweather did not demand that McGregor fight using 10-ounce gloves. At least not directly.
The fight, being contested at 154 pounds, forces both Mayweather and McGregor to have to fight using 10-ounce gloves, per Nevada State Athletic Commission law. All sanctioned boxing matches in Nevada contested at light middleweight (154 pounds) and above must have 10-ounce gloves whereas fights contested at welterweight (147 pounds) and below allow for smaller ones. Now McGregor’s comments could also hint that Mayweather may have been pushing heavily for the fight to be contested at 154 pounds and not at 147 pounds (where Mayweather has enjoyed the majority of his success), so that McGregor would have to wear 10-ounce gloves.
The part where McGregor talked about the horse hair gloves and Mexican-made gloves brought many questions as to what he meant.
The thing about horse hair gloves is that they have less padding around the knuckles, which does allow the boxer wearing the gloves to hit harder, but sacrifice a little bit of protection on their hands. The Mexican-made gloves (referring to Cleto Reyes gloves) are excellent gloves that many fighters nowadays use with great success. This is the case because less padding is on the knuckle area than other gloves, like Winning or Grant gloves (which Mayweather generally uses both for most of his career. Reyes gloves are very soft and one can feel their knuckles through the padding when they have them on. This naturally translates to more punching power, but with less hand protection.
Reyes gloves are used by Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez, Kelly Pavlik, Marcos Maidana, Amir Khan and numerous other top fighters. They're popular with boxers who don't have a history of hand problems and who have above-average punching power. Reyes gloves also are considered more conducive to punchers and anecdotally believed to induce cuts more frequently, while Mayweather for several years has worn custom Grant gloves in competition (he spars in Winning brand) on the belief that they protect his hands better than other brands.
Floyd Jr., much like his father, has had a bad history with brittle hands throughout the latter half of his boxing career. For several years, Floyd has been using special gloves that give a lot of padding and protection for his hands, which has been a factor -- Floyd has only knocked out one person since stopping Ricky Hatton in 2007, and that was a much maligned KO of Victor Ortiz a few years back.
This isn’t news to those who have followed Mayweather’s career as he not only as had a long history of wearing gloves with extra padding, but also demand opponents to wear certain types of gloves as was the case for the the May 3, 2013 fight against Maidana. Mayweather insisted Maidana wear Everlast Powerlock model gloves rather than Everlast MX, the latter of which includes horsehair as part of the padding. The disagreement on the eve of the fight included a Mayweather threat to cancel the event if Maidana didn't comply.
Even the 2015 mega fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao had its fair share of issues regarding gloves. In the lead up to their fight, Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach was skeptical over the legality of the type of gloves Mayweather was using and demanded to inspect Mayweather’s gloves.
Why is it so important for boxers to know exactly what type of glove, handwrap and padding is being used? The answer to that lies in Antonio Margarito.
Margarito is a former welterweight world champion who has been accused and suspended by the California State Athletic Commission in the past for illegal handwraps allegedly used in his fights against Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto. Those illegal handwraps were being used to create a substance similar to how casts are made, making his punches a lot harder. While Mayweather is not doing the same thing as Margarito, this should shine a light on the type of boxing equipment being used by boxers.