Just like any other sport, boxing requires lots of training if you want to become a good boxer. At the same time, the sport of boxing includes repetitive and forceful punching which can cause serious injuries both when punching and receiving a punch. In addition to practising boxing skills, the sport therefore involves lots of precautions in order to reduce the risk of injury to the minimum. They involve the use of special techniques as well as the use of a specialised boxing equipment.
In order to be able to hit the opponent with intense and repetitive punches, the boxer must have his hands always protected with hand wraps which secure the bones and tendons which in turn reduces the risk of fracture and sprain. Hand wraps are used both during training and competition. Most boxers use ordinary strips of cloth made of non-elastic gauze although the so-called Mexican-style hand wraps which are slightly elastic are popular with some boxers as well. The length and width of the wrap depends on several factors including the size of the hand, boxing gloves and personal preferences.
Boxing gloves are another mandatory piece of boxer’s equipment. They are obligatory in matches since the 19th century in order to protect the boxer’s hands from blunt injury as well as to allow them to punch more forcefully than without gloves. Before the bout, the two boxers must reach an agreement about the weight of the gloves because lighter gloves are thought to inflict more damage, especially if the boxer is a heavy puncher. In addition to weight, the brand of the gloves also influences the power of the punch and must be agreed upon before a bout as well.
In order to protect the teeth and gums, boxers use a mouth guard. At the same time, it cushions the jaw and reduces the chance of knock-out.
To practice their skills, boxers use at least two types of punchings bags. The first one is the so-called speed bag, a small bag in the shape of a tear drop which allows the boxer to practice repetitive punching and improve/maintain his reflexes. The second type of punching bag is a large and heavy cylindrical bag which is typically filled with sand. It is used for practising forceful punches.
In addition to the mentioned pieces of boxing equipment, many boxers also use various equipment and tools which are not limited to boxing. Examples include free weights, medicine balls, jump robes, etc. depending on the training methods and strategy of the boxers. These pieces of equipment are used to increase speed, strength, endurance and agility.
Head guards are mandatory for amateur competitors, however, they are not allowed in professional boxing. But they are often used in training to reduce the risk of injury to the head.