Do Boxing Gloves Hurt More Than Fists? | Explained

In this page we will answer the age-old question of whether Boxing gloves hurt more than fists, with data to back it up.

boxing gloves punch

Table of Contents

Do Boxing Gloves Hurt More Than Fists?

Yes. Boxing gloves hurt more than fists due to the larger glove providing a bigger surface area that it can land on. Gloves allow you to hit consistently at a higher power than you can without gloves. In fact, gloves are used to protect the hands and wrists of the person actually throwing the punches.

boxing fighter

Anyone who has ever been in a street fight, can attest that throwing punches bare knuckle, whether they land or not, are very painful.

This directly impacts how many 'hard' punches that you can throw, depending on your hand strength, wrist hand, and just overall pain tolerance.

This is exactly why both Boxers and UFC fighters will get their hands wrapped before putting on their gloves for a fight.

Bas Rutten Sport Science Experiment

Bas Rutten famously did an experiment with Sports Science, where they would measure how many pounds of force he was able to generate with no gloves, with a MMA glove, and with a Boxing glove.

The results showed that gloves were able to generate a little less force than just punching bare knuckle, however it also pointed out that the hands were immediately damaged, and the gloves were able to damage a much larger area than bare knuckle.

  • Bare Knuckle = 776 lbs of force
  • Boxing Glove = 641 lbs of force
  • MMA Glove = 650 lbs of force

Essentially, for a 1 punch test, bare knuckle punches harder, but for a multiple punch test, gloves will do more damage in both surface area, and overall damage.

Can You Hit Harder With Gloves?

You can absolutely hit harder with gloves, as gloves are meant to protect the hands. Gloves (and hand wraps) allow a fighter/puncher to throw hard punches consistently without damaging the hands and wrists.

Punching with just bare knuckles can be very dangerous, and can expose your hands to fractures.

punching fist

What Hurts More MMA or Boxing Gloves?

MMA gloves will hurt more as it is the perfect median in between bare knuckle punching, and punching with Boxing gloves. MMA gloves have less padding than Boxing gloves, which will allow the knuckles to do most of the damage.

However, with that being said, the longer a fight goes, the more that the larger glove will do more damage. As mentioned earlier, you're only able to throw so many shots with bare knuckle before hurting your hands.

The same concept applies with MMA gloves, which is a big reason why MMA fights are normally 3-5 rounds, where as Boxing rounds are normally 12 rounds.

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