Winning

My 16oz Winning boxing gloves…

I’ve never actually owned a pair of really nice gloves before these and I’ve certainly never written a review on a pair of boxing gloves.  I’m not going to write massive, long prose on subject matter like stitching, don’t worry!  I think there’s someone on another site that’s done that already! 🙂 – just in case that sort of thing floats your boat.

The quality of the leather is really good.  Soft and feels broken in blahdy, blahdy blah [ Sorry! ] but it’s the feel of the glove that’s on another level.  Before this I was boxing in a pair of RDX T9 bag gloves which are about 37 GBP (about 50 USD).  Putting those on and putting these Winning ones on… it’s like night and day.  The first thing you notice when you’re punching is the balance.  The weight distribution on these is amazing.  I can’t really describe it any other way.  They’re so well balanced that despite being 16oz, you can’t actually feel it.

I managed to pick these up on a good deal on ebay from the seller Kozuji for 220 GBP (288 USD) but I know that for some of the fancier colours you can easily add on another 80 USD. You can guess where the money is going.  Materials (without doubt), craftsmanship (absolutely) but for me it’s the balance.  When you lace those suckers up and they’re on your hands – they just feel great.  It’s like you’ve got the boxing equivalent of Excalibur on your hands.

This is my first lace up pair but it’s actually a nice thing walking up to someone and asking them to help you lace up your gloves.  I don’t know what it is but it can help break the ice if you’re in a different gym and you can use it as an excuse to introduce yourself.

They’re a premium price though – there’s no getting around that but if you’re into your training and boxing’s not just a casual fancy then I’d consider these.  I’ve heard about the longevity and the quality of the padding as well.  I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t regret them.

I love mine.

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Hand wrap review

Okay so it’s not a blog to set your hair alight but I just got back from offshore yesterday and I had a couple of parcels waiting for me like Christmas presents – plus I need a couple of days rest before I carry on with my training so I thought why not write this?

I love the process of wrapping your hands.  Like Johnny says on his ExpertBoxing website – wrapping your hands is the 5-10 minute ritual where any office worker, athlete or school kid transforms into a boxer.

You wrap your hands to protect the small bones in your hands so it’s very important you wrap your hands correctly. This wrapping your hand guide on ExpertBoxing is the only one I use (apparently recommended by Pepper Roach – Freddie Roach’s brother of Wildcard Boxing Gym)

I’ve been mainly using these wraps from Adidas while I was offshore, 4.5m long which is like 15ft.

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Really nice material with a little bit of stretch.  Much nicer material than the ones made by RDX.  I was training everyday with these for the last 5 weeks and they were washed every day too.  The only problem was that after 5 weeks, I found the velcro was wearing and it was losing its stickiness.

I ordered these VL-B wraps by Winning and their knuckle protectors while I was away and tried them on just now:

You just wrap over the knuckle protectors but it feels really good.  The Winning wrapping is much thinner than the Adidas type and it resembles the tape and gauze wrap that you see professionals using.  It’s very fine though and it was a touch more fiddly to keep the wrap straight when I was making my turns.  The Winning wrap is longer than 4.5m but you need that extra length.

My hand felt great though and it felt really good inside my glove.  I’ve never used additional padding on my knuckles before but I was putting a lot of time into the bag work and I may start using this more.

The Winning wrap and the protectors are washable and re-useable unlike the gauze and athletic tape that pros use.  I’ve never used the gel gloves or wrapped over these but Gary, my trainer, doesn’t recommend them.  I don’t know if anyone out there has tried gel gloves and wants to comment.  These knuckle protectors may be a happy medium.

Washing hand wrap is still a nightmare to untangle from the rest of your laundry and NEVER, EVER buy red hand wrap!  The colour will just run and stain your other laundry in your washing machine.  I’d stick to black, white or yellow.

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Last of the offshore sessions

The end is definitely within sight now.  I thought I was going home on Sunday but those plans changed so the big vessel exodus is still Monday.

I was going to take my morning off training today  and watch the Wales v Belgium football game but I was so tired I slept in until 23:30.  I think it’s just coming to the end of the trip and my body has completely worn down.  I was happy for Wales though as they won 3-1.  I missed a good game apparently.  Typical!

I’ll probably go for a session after shift and then I’ll go for a final one tomorrow when I wake up and that will be the end of the offshore sessions.

I’m getting some weird pains in my left arm when I try and throw a left hook which is really strange.  I’m not sure where that’s come from in the last few days but it feels like the pain vibrates right up my arm to my bicep.  It’s quite a sharp pain.  Almost makes me freeze.

It’s been good though.  Training-wise it’s been great.  Boxing offshore’s really given me something to look forward to every single day. The boxing gear I ordered for the ship arrived as well.  To be honest I try and stay away from the welfare committee nowadays as I feel it’s becoming more of a thankless task.

The welfare commitee is basically a group of people on the vessel who discuss what to do with the welfare money in order to improve the living of the rest of the crew.  Like getting gym equipment, buying a new TV for the day room, organizing a day trip out to a theme park – that’s all classed as “welfare”.

The aim is to try and do some good but then someone starts to complain yet you find yourself roped into doing it again because (a) You’re one of the few that can be bothered and (b) you’re that guy.

It can get to the stage where your crew have fallen out with the other crew over something and the welfare money gets split into two.  You end up in a situation where “You do what you want with it and we do what we want with it.”  That kind of thing.  That’s a rare case but it’s just an example.

I have to visit Lusby’s boxing gym when I get home and Gary can see if I’ve made any progress.  My arms definitely have better  stamina now and it feels like I can punch a little faster.  Note I said faster not harder.

My Adidas boxing boots are stained with dirt, a few salt water marks and the grip on the sole’s worn down a little as well for good measure.

I went and bought a pair of Winning Pro gloves from ebay which I’m seriously excited about.  They’re almost like the Holy Grail of boxing training gloves and a pair of flourescent yellow Nike Hyper KOs.  The Adidas boots I’ll take offshore with me to train and the Nike ones I’ll keep at home.

Nike Hyper KO16oz Winning Training gloves

 

I’m a bit wary of buying nice gear though.  Let’s face it, you don’t want to buy great gear when you’re absolutely crap at something – you just end up looking stupid.  I just love that colour and design of boot though and as for the boxing gloves, I’ve heard that there’s no fit and protection like Winning.  Let’s face it, out here I was spending between 2 to 3 hours a day training so protecting my hands is really important.

More than anything though I miss Emma and my dog.  I just want to go home and enjoy their company, do a little more writing.  I miss visiting the boxing gyms near my home and I just miss being a civillian I guess.  My wife even told me someone from my local village football team was looking for me to play.  Now there’s something new.  I’ve been talking to them for a few weeks now to see if I can get a game and they finally came calling!  I watched a few games down our local playing fields and it looked a little “blood guts and thunder” which I’m not too sure about. It’s a different vibe to your friendly game of fives.  As a country we talk about wanting to be on a technical par with the rest of the world but you look down at this level and we’re still a nation of warriors when it comes to football and I think to myself – is that something I want to be part of?

[Sigh] I’ll see when I get home.

 

My boxing wish list

I’m rocking some pretty simple boxing gear for the time being.  No point in getting the good stuff until I really improve but take a look at this nice list of stuff below.

Face guard

The only thing truly decent I currently own is my Winning FG2900 head guard shown below. That’s one of the best out there and it has to be.  One day, it’s going to have to protect my face while I spar.

Winning FG2900250 GBP

If I make it to an amateur fight I’ll need one of these AIBA approved head guards:

Adidas AIBA contest head guard80 GBP

 

Boxing boots

Next up is some footwear and I really like these puppies:

Nike Hyper KO150 GBP

A pair of Nike Hyper KOs.

Amir Khan wears some really smart Reebok ones, as does Mayweather but they’re custom made.  I was on Amir Khan’s website amirkhanworld.com and his store is opening up soon but the last pair I saw on ebay had only 300 pairs released on general retail and they rocked in on the ebay site at a whopping 300 GBP.  Yikes!

Gloves

It’d be nice to have a separate pair for sparring and an alternate pair for pad and bag work. Generally sparring gloves are softer than bag gloves.  Behold these babies:

16oz Cleto Reyes Lace Sparring Glove 189 GBP

These are yellow 16 0z Cleto Reyes lace up sparring gloves.  If you ever get clocked in the mouth by these beauties you’re going to taste nothing but goat.  Mmmm goat… 😉

For the bag work you’re not going to get much better than Japan’s finest, a pair of Winning lace ups:

16oz Winning Training gloves 250 GBP

And lastly for competitive boxing you’re going to need some AIBA approved contest gloves:

AIBA Contest Gloves80 GBP

Well that’s it.  Not cheap.  The thing is, no one is going to rock up to any gym wearing this kind of stuff unless you can box well.  Hmm I’ll rephrase that!… I personally wouldn’t dream of rocking up to a gym wearing this stuff unless I could box well!