Is Boxing Without Gloves Safer And Why Is It Illegal?

It can be tempting to try gloveless boxing just because you can skip the tedious process of putting on your protective gears. It does seem to mimic real fights also, as no one has the time to prepare for fighting in normal circumstances. So, is boxing without gloves safer? Let’s find out!

Is Boxing Without Gloves Safer For You?

Boxing without gloves is safer for you than boxing with typical gloves. Gloves encourage people to compensate for the padding with more force, thus risking wrist injuries for the puncher and brain injury for their opponent. People tend to pull back their punches if they’re not wearing protective gear, so they will not break their hands as often.

  1. Why Do Gloves Exist?

Boxing gloves have been considered mandatory in boxing matches ever since the 19th century, and that’s understandable. Hand and wrist injuries are probably one of the most common causes for retirement for professional boxers. 

But you probably do not know that, aside from protecting you, your gloves are built to protect your fellow combatant as well. Believe it or not, your gloves soften your punches with the internal paddings as well as give your fist more force distribution area, which lessens the force. 

Is Boxing Without Gloves Safer And Why Is It Illegal?

Image 1. Gloves help with force distribution.

The use of boxing gloves has always been associated with safety. But when people get used to wearing the gears and hitting with them, they learn to make up for the lessened force by punching harder, thus exceeding their limit as well as harming their fellow boxers.

  1. The Appearance Of MMA:

If you’re from a generation before MMA, you will probably associate fighting matches with the aforementioned numbingly thick boxing gloves. As a little younger, your perception of fighting gears may be more diverse, thanks to a sport called MMA – also known as Mixed Martial Arts.

In MMA fights, you will not be restricted by the padded gloves but rather the smaller, open-finger ones. MMA fights actively encourage you to strike with your hands to create a more dynamic experience for you as well as the match’s spectators. 

This gear requirement has rather counterintuitive results on the player’s mentality. The fighters’ attacks aim at the head way less than boxers’ do, and the hits themselves are with less force. MMA fights have been studied, and experts conclude that MMA fights are much safer than boxing matches!

Is Boxing Without Gloves Safer And Why Is It Illegal?

Image 2. MMA fights, despite less protection involved, are safer.

Why Is Bare-Knuckle Boxing Illegal If It Really Is Safer?

As we’ve mentioned, boxing gloves were added to the mix when people realized that they would need their hands intact for other work outside of their hobbies. In an effort to protect the working class with a side hustle, bare-knuckle boxing became illegal. 

But now that people know better, they no longer have such a connotation against bare-knuckle boxing, MMA, and other types of combat sports that don’t require padded boxing gloves anymore. Some sports articles even go so far as saying that banning bare-knuckle boxing in this day and age is rather “backwards”. 

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Is Boxing Without Gloves Safer And Why Is It Illegal?

Image 3. Bare-knuckle boxing can be safe, too!

Without your gloves, your hands may hurt a little bit if you don’t know how to control your muscles and throws. That would make it your fault rather than the lack of gloves’. But if one is allowed to wear gloves and freely throw punches that leave long-term brain damages to their fellow sportsmen, we may have to reconsider our practices.


1. Is it better to fight with gloves or without?

Fighting with gloves helps to spread out the impact, thus reducing the force of the punch. That said, for punchers, fighting with gloves means their fists and knuckles will be much harder. Thus, they will not be as flexible regarding their performance.

2. What would happen if boxers did not use gloves?

Without using gloves, boxers are more likely to damage their hands and knuckles, since these body parts have no protection. Furthermore, they may also suffer from blood loss, which can be rather messy and dangerous for everyone involved. 


Is boxing without gloves safer? The answer is yes, but only with the right preparations. You cannot possibly expect your body to go straight into such an intense sport; you’d still have to put on some forms of gear/stretches. But the effects that gloveless boxing has on our minds is what makes it safer, overall, so get your facts and stay safe in your matches!

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