When we watch any style of combat sports or fighting, we sometimes wonder how the fighters may of done in a different style or even with different equipment.
When we watch Conor McGregor in the cage using 4oz competition MMA gloves, we would be on the edge of the seat waiting for him to knock his opponent out. He knocked out Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds.
So when he met Floyd Maymeather in the boxing ring, many was asking the question…
Could McGregor knockout Mayweather with boxing gloves?
When they fought in a boxing match, McGregor was unsuccessful to land that exciting knockout. He still did land many punches, but was it because he was using boxing gloves instead of MMA gloves or is Mayweather to talented for him not to get knocked out?
What makes a powerful punch?
Firstly, before we look at the equipment let’s look into what is the foundations of a knockout punch.
Isaac Newton was the mathematician to discover a formula for force. The concept of force is commonly explained in terms of Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion set forth in his Principia Mathematica (1687).
Newton’s second law of motion is F = ma, or force is equal to mass times acceleration.
So if you imagine a fighter throwing a punch, the basic physics behind it is his weight x the speed which equals the force of his punch.
This is why the heavyweights generally have the more powerful punches. With that said a fighter can still be just as much as a knockout artist as a heavyweight in any weight class. The reason for this is Newton’s weight/mass is a little bit different using to compare punches as it is not a fighters total weight that goes into the punch.
It also comes down to a fighters punching technique to how they distribute their weight and energy through to the fist.
The other key factor is timing and accuracy of a punch. Pulled punches, over extended punches or even poorly timed will all effect the power of a punch as the force or power is at the highest at a single point.
So, Does MMA gloves and boxing gloves make a difference in power?
In short, yes. The force or the power of the punch will change with the different gloves. A good example of this is when you are in sparring, you wear 16oz sparring gloves, the weight may of increased but even though it is only 16oz, the speed of the punch reduces, hence reducing power.
In MMA, 4oz competition gloves are extremely light. This lightweight design will almost make it close to throwing a punch at a speed as a bare fist.
What is the difference in MMA and boxing gloves?
The greatest difference between MMA and boxing gloves which would also affect the power is the padding.
Competition boxing gloves that weigh 10oz have a high density foam padding around the knuckles, which indirectly cushions the blow.
In MMA, the 4oz MMA gloves have very minimal padding over the knuckles so it will naturally be felt more than boxing gloves. This could be a reason why McGregor delivered those sharp knockouts in the cage.
Spectators always want to see an exciting fight and that could be the reason why the fight promotion, One Championship started using MMA gloves on kickboxing and Muay Thai fights rather than boxing gloves.
This different use of gloves has even be mentioned in a discussion on Sherdog with one member saying
“Because that’s more appealing to the audience.”
MMA and boxing should stay with their original gloves as boxing is a sport of only punches, so it could cause concerns about injuries if it was to use MMA gloves.