PROPER EQUIPMENT IS A "MUST" IN ANY BOXING PROGRAM. A capable, qualified coach would not send a boy on the football field without proper shoulder pads or headgear. Yet, I have seen high school boxers use worn-out gloves and a makeshift mat with no canvas cover; and I have known of boys who have not been provided with aluminum cups. This is the absolute false economy, and should not be tolerated. Proper mouthpieces, well-padded headgears, and hand wraps should be available for all contestants in a boxing program. It is advisable to have high-topped boxing shoes, but where the economy is a factor, light-weight basketball shoes will suffice. All equipment should be properly maintained, both for the safety of the boy and for reasons of economy. In comparison with most other sports, boxing is inexpensive to conduct and can be very profitable financially. After the initial outlay for the ring, punching bag, and gloves, additional purchases are minor in nature. Upkeep is incidental. Many high schools in the states of Louisiana, Washington, Virginia, and Wisconsin are now showing a larger profit from boxing than from any other sport. In numerous colleges, boxing receipts are second only to those derived from football. We do not wish to convey the impression that we suggest boxing only because of the profit motive. But we do wish to show that the sport needn't be conducted at a financial loss to the school. We strongly urge that the rules and regulations regarding equipment as laid down in the N.C.A.A. Boxing Guide by the National Collegiate Athletic Association boxing committee for colleges be carefully studied and followed. These recommendations have been drawn up with the welfare of the boxer in mind. All contestants, as well as coaches, should familiarize themselves with the contents. Under these rules, a ring is required on which the padding extends over the edge for added protection.
All turnbuckles must be padded and the ropes wrapped with flannel or gauze. The mat should be at least two inches thick, with a tight canvas cover on top. All bouts and meets must be fought in a regulation ring. Remember, accidents are caused only by laxity and carelessness. Hand bandages should be worn at all times by contestants in both practice sessions and actual bouts. The details of bandaging will be covered in a later chapter. The regular gauze of two-inch width is recommended for actual bouts, but regular ankle-wrapping or similar material is satisfactory for practice sessions. Rubber mouthpieces are another essential for all boxers. They are inexpensive. You will find the investment a wise one. It is certainly much cheaper than the dental work which may be required when no mouthpiece is used. The mouthpiece will eliminate practically all teeth injuries and mouth lacerations which are caused by the lip coming into contact with an irregular tooth. Many boxers find it advisable to secure a mouthpiece made from an actual impression. This is desirable even though expensive. In the purchase of boxing gloves be sure to avoid false economy. A good glove should be purchased initially. The end result will actually be less expensive. A cheap glove bunches up and does not give the proper protection to the boy who is hit. Do not work the padding in a glove. This breaks up the padding and makes it lumpy.
Grease the leather with Vaseline at least twice a week. Boxing gloves should always be hung up to dry after being used. Make sure they never touch the floor. The grease on the leather will pick up dirt. This, when rubbed against the skin, may cause infection. Also because of possible infection, the ring ropes should be kept clean and well-padded. For high schools, a 12-ounce glove should be used up through the 132-pound class, and a 14-ounce glove at all weights above. For training purposes, 16-ounce and 18-ounce gloves should be used. A glove specially designed for high schools and colleges is on the market. In it, more padding has been placed over the hitting surface. A web extends between the thumb and the forefinger. Use of this new glove has practically eliminated face or eye cuts and has greatly reduced the frequency of knockouts. Do not use gloves designated for actual competition for practice sessions. Only comparatively new gloves should be used for actual bouts. Use a regulation ring during all practice sessions. Punching bag stands for the light bag, and a few training bags for heavy punching should also be available. Jumping ropes are standard equipment in any boxing gymnasium.
Once you have obtained the proper equipment as listed above your instructional job can get underway. This involves thorough physical conditioning, plus stress on the fundamentals of boxing. The rules make a headgear compulsory for all actual matches. This headgear is specially designed and is termed a "competitive headgear." It is lighter in weight than the headgear used in training but affords the same amount of protection to the eyes and ears. It also includes extra padding at the base of the skull as protection for a boxer on the rare occasions when his head hits the canvas as he falls. It has been definitely ascertained that many injuries incurred in the professional field have not resulted from a blow, but rather from falling to an improperly-padded ring floor. The competitive headgear with its ample padding is another precaution to avoid possible injuries of this nature.