Time was when you could pretty much assume that both combatants in a big boxing match would be wearing Everlast gloves, which you could easily discern by the Everlast logo on the gloves’ cuffs (and note that fighters also wore cool striped socks back then). But those days are gone. In last Saturday’s Hopkins-Tarver bout, for example, Tarver wore Everlast gear but Hopkins wore Reyes, and the logos these days appear on the gloves themselves, not on the cuffs.
Uni Watch could go on at length here about various subtleties, such as the way tape on the cuffs led to the logo creep on the glove proper, the way Everlast increased the size of the cuff logo back in the 1950s when boxing became popular on television, and the whole sub-topic of glove colors, but that will have to wait for another day. For now, Uni Watch is happy to yield the floor to reader Mike Weippert, who recently provided a mini-treatise on this very topic. So:
Logo creep in boxing gloves has gotten a bit out of control lately. For instance, there’s this odd character, which debuted on Grant gloves several years ago. Prior to the logo’s advent, Grant gloves looked like this; when the new logo was introduced, the gloves initially looked like this, but now the logo has swollen and the word “Grant” has been dropped. Now, Grant gloves are some of the best in the business, a true puncher’s glove, but this hideous cartoon has completely taken over the glove.
Reyes gloves, another fixture of the fight game, have featured the “Hecho en Mexico” logo. More recently, though, the wording of the logo has changed to “Cleto Reyes Professional” (same design, just different slogan). If you look closely here, you can see Oscar De La Hoya wearing the new logo, and Ricardo Mayorga wearing the old one.
Then there are Winning gloves, a Japanese brand gaining popularity in the U.S., particularly on the West Coast, which have smaller but distinctive logos.
Of course, logo creep in boxing goes way beyond the gloves, from Larry Holmes wearing the Sasson jeans logo on his trunks to Bernard Hopkins wearing “GoldenPalace.com” on his back. And then there’s Julius Francis, who wore an ad for the British newspaper The Mirror on the soles of his shoes for his 2000 match against Mike Tyson. The Mirror‘s brain trust figured Francis’s soles would get plenty of exposure — which turned out to be a prescient analysis.