Logic dictates that the optimum design for boxing gloves is a smooth surface to help decrease the chance that the glove will cause unnecessary injuries.  Since the earliest gloves were made, designs incorporated the concept of hiding the thumb, like this patented design (illus. right) made in 1890 by J. Stewart. The unremarkable boxing glove has been a fixture of the sport for more than a hundred years. Moreover, it was the simple glove that elevated a savage back alley, 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 lessening hand injuries. Through the years both subtle and dramatic improvements and advancements in safety have advanced the sport immensely. Contrary to popular belief, statistically boxing is one of the safest sports in the world.

THUMBLESS GLOVE 

Not all gloves are the same

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.

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 threatened his career, professional boxer Ray Leonard 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

as the optimal design for boxing gloves. Most boxing medical advisory boards 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 first introduced the glove in 1983 after substantial investment in developing 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 fiercest 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 possible lucrative title fights if they insisted the contestants wear the new gloves. Ultimately, Everlast sensing a possible backlash from the boxing community, which could have led to the company losing its own professional loyalty, decided on an alternative plan. They exchanged the Thumbless Glove design for one that has become referred to as the Tied-Thumb Glove, which was not patentable and could be shared and manufactured by all glove makers in the world. Tied-Thumb Gloves were actually an old idea first appearing in the 1920s in manufactured training gloves as a safety innovation. The glove includes a small strap that attaches the thumb to the main portion of the glove. Originally, the design actually was incorporated into gloves to restrict the thumb from hyper-extending, bending abnormally back accidentally when striking the target. The Tied-Thumb Glove became the standard for all boxing gloves. Everlast continued  to 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 thumbless gloves has 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 this unique glove.

John Golomb

200 N Wynnewood Ave. A407

Wynnewood, PA 19096-1430

glovedr@aol.com   646-504-3358

copyright john Golomb 2019