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Wilder’s Gloves Were Not Foam Padded: Horsehair versus Padded Gloves Controversy

By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent

 Before his trilogy heavyweight title loss to Tyson Fury this past weekend, Deontay Wilder complained about Tyson Fury’s horsehair gloves. However, he wound up using the same pair. Four pairs of the Paffen Sports gloves were provided to the two fighters overall. One glove from each fighter’s set was cut open to ensure the gloves were not tampered with either during the manufacturing or in the prefight. The selection of gloves by Wilder proved to be a tactical mistake, as will be explained here.

Fury faced accusations of cheating from Wilder after their second title bout in February 2020, whereby Wilder had claimed Fury had hidden something the size and the shape of an egg weight in his gloves. There was no Faberge egg or similar found inside. Nothing was found, though, and the allegation was disproven. During routine glove inspection with Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) officials on Friday, October 8, 2021, Wilder and his camp raised concerns over the horsehair used as padding inside Fury’s chosen selected gloves, currently manufactured by Paffen Sport.

Wilder was unhappy with the use of horsehair gloves by Fury, and Fury was able to separate the padding from the glove, if he pushed and squeezed his gloves together, which seemingly reduced the amount of padding. Wilder ultimately chose Everlast MX Horsehair gloves, which trainer Malik Scott noted he broke his hand using in the past during Scott’s career. Wilder used the Everlast MX Horsehair gloves in the past and also broke his hand in previous fights. The horsehair gloves get less padding on the knuckle and the hair moves in the glove during the fight reducing the padding.

Wilder should have stayed with regular foam-padded gloves since he hits so hard, and probably would have knocked Tyson Fury out in the fourth round of the trilogy bout if his gloves were foam-padded, which adds impact to his power. Since Fury was using horsehair, he figured he needed horsehair gloves too. Wilder’s mistake was he went with horsehair gloves because Fury was using them, and thought Fury somehow had a special advantage with the horsehair gloves.

Wilder would have done better for himself with foam-padded gloves because of the way he fights relying on his natural gifted power. Gloves are a fighter’s judgment call. The contents, not the colors, can determine the outcome of a fight. Sugar Ray Leonard preferred thumbless gloves to reduce the possibility of eye injury. It all depends on the mentality of the fighter and their training camp. The horsehair gloves were a disadvantage for Wilder, as he remains unaccustomed to them, and they do not enhance his power. This mistake probably cost Wilder the win in the trilogy bout, in this reporter’s view, so his camp needs to reevaluate its glove selections in the future if Wilder continues his career.





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Robert Brizel - Head Boxing Correspondent
Robert Brizel - Head Boxing Correspondent
Robert is the Head Boxing Correspondent for Real Combat Media Boxing since 2013. Robert is also a photographer and ringside reporter for the RCM Tri State region which includes NJ, NY and PA. Robert conducts exclusive interviews, provides historical boxing articles and provides editorial ringside coverage of major boxing events. You can contact or follow Robert on Facebook and by email at robertbrizel@realcombatmedia.com.