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Though still not for the faint of heart, boxing used to be an even more roughandtumble affair. Brush up on your boxing history with Groupon&8217;s look into the advent and evolution of boxing gloves.
Englishman Jack Broughton never met a brawl his bare fists couldnt handle. Often referred to as the Father of The English School of Pugilism, Broughton thrived within the barbaric world of bareknuckle boxing. In 1741, his battering of thenchampion George Stevenson led to Broughton&8217;s coronation as England&8217;s finest fighterand, weeks later, Stevenson&8217;s death. As such, many British nobles and gentlemen turned to Broughton to teach them the art of selfdefense, but the fragility of their porcelain fists led Broughton to improvise a means of protection. Citing the &8220;inconvenience of black eyes, broken noses, and bloody jaws&8221; they may sustain while sparring, Broughton invented &8220;mufflers,&8221; a set of leather mitts padded with horsehair or lamb&8217;s woolthe first known iteration of boxing gloves.
When the tradition of bareknuckle fighting ended in 1892, gloves became a mainstay of mainstream boxing, though their exact specifications evolved significantly over the ensuing century. In the first gloved, heavyweight championship fight, John Sullivan and James Corbett donned 5ounce mitts. Today, mostly due to an increased emphasis on protecting fighters, standard gloves for professional bouts weigh between 8 and 10 ounces. Though the tanned leather exterior of most presentday gloves vaguely recalls Broughton&8217;s prototype, their cushioning no longer requires shearing livestock; instead, most gloves contain highdensity polyurethane. Before bouts, the gloves must pass scrupulous inspection to ensure that neither fighter has unfairly altered their specifications by wrapping them in bare fists.
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