why do boxing referees hold gloves

why do boxing referees hold gloves

Boxing referees play a crucial role in ensuring fair and safe competition inside the ring. One of their responsibilities is to hold the gloves of the boxers during specific moments of the match. This article will delve into the reasons why boxing referees hold gloves, exploring various aspects of this practice.

1. Safety Precaution

why do boxing referees hold gloves

One primary reason why boxing referees hold gloves is to ensure the safety of the boxers. By holding the gloves, referees prevent the fighters from engaging in any unsportsmanlike conduct, such as hitting their opponents after the bell or during breaks. This precautionary measure helps avoid unnecessary injuries and maintains the integrity of the sport.

2. Controlling the Fighters

Boxing referees hold gloves as a means of controlling the fighters during the match. By physically holding onto the gloves, referees can guide the boxers to their respective corners at the end of each round or when a timeout is called. This control helps maintain order and prevents any potential conflicts or disputes between the fighters.

3. Ensuring Fair Play

Another reason for referees to hold gloves is to ensure fair play. By holding the gloves, referees prevent the boxers from tampering with their gloves or engaging in any illegal activities, such as adding foreign substances to enhance their punching power. This practice promotes fair competition and upholds the rules and regulations of the sport.

4. Assisting with Equipment Adjustments

During a match, boxers may require adjustments to their gloves, such as tightening or loosening the straps. Referees holding the gloves can assist in making these adjustments quickly and efficiently, minimizing any delays in the fight and allowing the boxers to focus on the match.

5. Maintaining the Flow of the Match

By holding the gloves, referees contribute to maintaining the flow of the match. They can swiftly move the fighters to their corners, allowing the trainers to provide necessary instructions and minimize any interruptions. This ensures a smooth transition between rounds and keeps the momentum of the fight intact.

6. Preventing Unauthorized Actions

Boxing referees holding gloves also serve as a deterrent against unauthorized actions by the boxers. For example, if a fighter attempts to use their gloves to block their opponent’s vision or distract them, the referee’s physical presence and control over the gloves can discourage such actions and maintain a fair and level playing field.

7. Symbolic Role

The act of holding gloves by referees also has a symbolic role in boxing. It represents the authority and responsibility of the referee in overseeing the match. It serves as a visual reminder to the boxers and the audience that the referee is in control and ensures a fair and safe competition.

8. Enhancing the Referee’s Presence

By holding the gloves, referees enhance their presence and visibility within the ring. This physical contact with the boxers’ gloves establishes a direct connection between the referee and the fighters, reinforcing their role as the central figure in the match. It also helps the audience recognize the referee’s authority and involvement in the bout.


The practice of boxing referees holding gloves serves multiple purposes, including safety, control, fair play, and equipment adjustments. It contributes to maintaining the flow of the match, preventing unauthorized actions, and symbolizing the authority of the referee. Overall, this practice plays a vital role in ensuring a fair, safe, and enjoyable boxing experience for both the fighters and the audience.

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