The Blueprint: The Gloves Pt. 1 - #002
In 2012 at the age of 21, five years before launching BOXRAW, I was diagnosed with arthritis in my wrists and knuckles. I found myself having to buy expensive gloves and take over 10 minutes to have my hands wrapped professionally. It really took the fun out of boxing as I could feel every bit of impact through my hands, wrists and knuckles, meaning the next day, I’d struggle to use a pen, turn my car key or open a can of tuna.
When we launched in 2017, I figured that it couldn’t be that hard to make a glove that could give me the protection I needed. Wrong. It was hard. Really hard. Six years later the gloves still aren’t complete…
Since the boxing glove was invented in 1773, they’ve been made the same way for hundreds of years, with little-to-no innovation. This was shocking to me as all fundamental technical sports equipment had appeared to evolve, but gloves remained stagnant. I already knew the industry was full of dinosaurs, but I found this offensive.
Contrary to popular belief, boxing gloves were invented to protect the hands of boxer. The reality is that once you learn how to properly transfer bodyweight into momentum through your legs, into your hips, up your shoulders and into your fists, your hands aren’t built to take that sort of impact. It’s the reason why bare-knuckle boxing isn’t too exciting to watch as the rounds ensue because the human hand hasn’t evolved in the same way proper technique has.
It’s also the reason why many find it hard to truly release what they’re capable of when getting into boxing because of a subconscious fear of injury. Floyd Mayweather and many of boxing’s greats have suffered with severe hand problems which has also meant they’ve gone through the same laboursome processes that I did, and then some.
When it came to working on the glove, I started at ground zero, completely discarding everything I thought I knew about a glove. It started off with researching the optimal hand position upon impact of a punch and taking that skeletal form and expanding it to ensure maximum protection to suspect areas of the hand.
This included the carpometacarpal, scapholunate joint, metacarpophalangeal and thumb ulnar collateral ligament (in short specific areas of the knuckles, wrist and metacarpals). It’s been an iterative process throughout as when I found a solution to one area, it impacted another and when I thought I had it right, it threw off the aerodynamics.
Aerodynamics have been at the core of this glove since I set out. The velocity exerted from a punch is greater than the initial launch of any supercar or F1 car, yet no research had been done into how to improve the aerodynamics of a boxing glove. Hundreds of millions a year go into the development of the reduction of the drag coefficient of cars, planes and spaceships, yet no one found it sensical to try improving that of a glove.
Over the course of 12 rounds, it seemed logical to me that if the extension and recoil of a punch could flow through the air more seamlessly, then it would lead to better performance.
As a result, we’ve been regularly testing our samples (over 1,500 to date) in a wind tunnel and running computational fluid dynamics to ensure our glove can pierce through the air faster than any other glove on the market.
The development of the foams and leather has taken me across Japan, China, Switzerland and Italy, where, after five years, we made the call to custom develop, produce and manufacture everything in England.
Seven patent-pending features have been developed for our gloves and, while I can’t speak too much to the specifics until launch, I can say with conviction that BOXRAW’s ‘Gurõbu Training Gloves’ and ‘Kenka Fight Gloves’ will be best boxing gloves in the world and the greatest innovation the sport has ever witnessed.
Founder & CEO