Not all gloves are the same
Logic dictates that the optimum design for boxing gloves should include smooth surfaces to help decrease the chance that the glove would cause unnecessary injuries. Since the earliest gloves were made, designs incorporated the same accentual concept of hiding the thumb, like this patented design (ill. right) made in 1890 by J. Stewart. The unremarkable boxing glove has been a patent fixture of the sport for more than a hundred years. Moreover, it was the simple glove that elevated a savage back room and back alley playing host to mostly illegal contests–into a legitimate and hugely popular sport. It was the boxing gloves that took the edge off the brutality and softened the spectacle. The boxing glove is perceived as a shock absorber somewhat lessening the impact of blows. It is the glove that has contributed to lessen hand injuries, and reduce the bloodiness. Through the years both subtle and dramatic improvement and advancements in safety have advanced the sport immensely. Contrary to popular belief, statisacally boxing is one of the safest sports in the world.
In 1983 John Golomb then working as Product Designer or his family business took an old idea and developed a revolutionary boxing glove design idea. Thoroughly tested and officially approved by most boxing authorities and commissions. His patented glove known then as the Thumbless Glove was widely used by professional boxers in New York State in which it was mandated for all professional fights excluding a championship contest. Many of Michael Tyson’s fights the boxers wore the new glove. US Military Academies gladly accepted and integrated the new gloves into their boxing programs. Many amateur associations including the Golden Gloves used the gloves.
After suffering a detached retina that threaten his career, professional boxer RayLeonard was able to resurrect it by using the Thumbless glove in training and in a comeback fight.
For the most part the Thumbless glove has been recognized by the optimal design for boxing gloves since. Most of medical advisory boards for boxing and commissions national and international for boxing safety have recommended the gloves and still do.
So if the Thumbless glove is so great then why isn’t it the only kind of glove that is used. There are a few reasons for the lack of its
visibility in boxing. When the glove was introduced in 1983, the Everlast Sporting Goods Manufacturing Company had spent a great deal of money to develop the product.
Although state boxing commissions and legislations considered mandating the glove, there was a natural resistance to change, and considerable product loyalty to other manufacturers from the professional boxing establishment. The resistance grew fearst considering that only Everlast would be able to make the gloves. No one state authority would take the ultimate risk to sanction the gloves since it would or could mean they would lose a possible lucrative title fights if they insisted the contestants wear the new gloves. Ultimately Everlast sensing a possible back lash from the boxing community that could have meant that the company may lose its own professional loyalty,
developed an alternative plan. The decided that an alternative design be exchanged for the Thumbless glove. The new design which has manufacture Thumbless gloves they resisted any dynamic promotion opting to allow the boxing establishment to chose their preference between thumbless and tied thumb. Interest in gloves remained small but loyal, however, since ownership of Everlast has been sold to a foreign entity and discontinued manufacturing in the USA, the owners have not continued to offer the unique glove.