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Why Do Boxers Use Vaseline?

Last Updated: 16.05.22


If you’ve already thought about getting a pair of Title gloves for boxing, chances are you are starting to take your journey very seriously and therefore need to get the best gear available to help with your training and fighting including a free standing punching bag.

There are many things one needs to do to keep himself as safe as possible in the world of boxing, just like in Muay Thai shin guards can protect your legs. If you are an aspiring young fighter or simply somebody who wants to be more informed, our team has done the research and is ready to deliver so keep on reading to find out.


Keeping yourself protected

Protection is key to a great number of things in life, combat sports ranking high on that list of things. In the early days of boxing, many veterans would leave the sport suffering from concussions, frequent headaches, memory loss or even worse. Because of this, boxing has implemented strict rules and regulations to protect the fighters as much as possible.

Creating boxing gloves has become an art form on its own, with a lot of brands to choose from and a lot of options for each of those brands. From gloves made for sparring to real match-day ones to gloves specifically designed for harder punches, the boxers’ safety has really become the main focus for each of their manufacturers.

As technology advances, so do combat sports due to the desire to keep the fighters as protected and as safe as possible. We are now seeing studies about the required impact to tear the skin or the number of concussions a match can provoke, the latter being especially easy to notice in the fact that amateur boxers have been forbidden to wear headgear anymore.



Boxers are training their bodies in many shapes of forms to make sure their endurance is as good as it can be. Since in a sport like this, they are bound to be suffering injuries and damage to the body, the best they can do is to try to prolong their career as much as possible.

However, this discussion is not merely about reducing or avoiding the amount of damage you can inflict with a single, direct blow to the body. There are other things which are equally important such as making sure the boxer’s skin is ready for taking the punishment.


Why is vaseline good?

Even if you don’t box, you may have noticed when watching it on TV that right before a fight, boxers are always covered in a goosy, greasy substance which quite frankly looks really funny. That substance is called petroleum jelly and it’s not only used for the dewy glow, although fighters certainly look fresh with it on their faces.

The actual purpose of this is creating a layer of protection for the skin against the heavy hits that are sure to come during a boxing match. Vaseline will lubricate the face and make the skin more elastic, allowing it to stretch and take less damage after a hard punch. This, in turn, means the boxers are less likely to experience tears in their skin as the match goes on.

Furthermore, no matter how hard the cutman (the person whose job is to treat minor injuries before a match and between rounds) tries, hard bouts will always lead to bruises and bloodied parts of the face. This is where vaseline again comes into play, as applying it on open cuts can prevent them from getting worse and making the referee stop the match.


Are there limits to its use?

Boxing has no formal limits to how much vaseline a fighter and his trainers can use before or during the match. Other combat sports do impose some regulations because fighting somebody who is sticky and slippery is much harder when you have to grapple with them and take the fight to the ground.

In spite of that, cutmen will usually try their best to not be too excessive with the substance, as too much of it can end up in the boxer’s eyes and severely disrupt his performance or even lead to him getting knocked out.

Fighters who like the inside game also tend to “grease up” all over their body before the match so they will be very slippery for the first few rounds and able to easily escape the grasp of their opponent. We have not yet seen a boxer turn up for his bout covered head to toe in vaseline, but that would surely make for an interesting fight to watch.

The truth is that putting gobs of it on you won’t really offer more advantage than just a few strategically-placed drops. After so many years of boxing, it’s safe to say that if more vaseline would mean a bigger advantage, then everybody would do it.


Protect yourself in sparring

As we said, sparring really is another type of game and one you should definitely pay attention to. Its main purpose is not to hurt or KO your opponent but rather to allow you to practice moves and combinations without getting hurt yourself.

Therefore, it’s really important to differentiate between sparring gloves and match-day gloves. The ones specifically designed for sparring offer additional protection such as a single layer of foam that extends from the fingertips to the cuff and a pre-contoured shape which minimizes the risk of fist injuries.

Another thing you have to keep in mind is you will always need a mouthguard to spar. Except for the fact that this is common sense, most gyms won’t even allow you to enter the ring unless you’re protecting your teeth. While sparring is exciting and stressful for everyone, you owe it to yourself and your partner to keep both of you protected.


Protecting yourself during the match

This is also another area that is often overlooked. Sure, boxing is a hurt business and the reality is you will hit and you will get hit. However, there are certain things that you can work on with your trainer to make sure you’re still protected to the best of your abilities.

First of all, you have to actively program your brain to allow you to keep your hands up even after the bell signals the end of the round. Once boxers are caught in the thrill of the fight, it is often hard for them to stop and dropping your hands too early might be disastrous for you.

Also, never break without keeping your hands up as well. It does not matter if it’s from a clinch or the referee is halting the action, always keep your guard up to avoid a lightning-quick punch on the chin.



Mastering your technique

Another way to be protected during a match is really knowing what you’re doing in there. The closest preparation for perfection is repetition and there’s simply no way around that. If you want to mostly end up on the winning side, you have to practice the same things over and over again until they become second nature.

Defensive boxers have become quite the thing these days as the sport has evolved beyond mindless and reckless punching of one another. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is maybe the prime example of this, entering the conversation as one of the greatest boxers in history without giving us the chance to really see him bloodied and battered more than once or twice.

Drilling good defensive habits into you should be part of your regular, everyday workout as discretion really is the better part of valor. Practice keeping your guard up and moving your head after throwing a punch until it comes natural and you don’t even realize you are doing it anymore.




1) Why Do Boxers Put Vaseline on Their Face

2) Protect the areas of impact

3) Stages to a boxer’s preparation before a fight

4) It can make the difference between winning and losing




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