New glove design could “change the boxing world forever”

A man who loves boxing but was prevented from competing at just 19 because of hand problems claims he is going to “change the boxing world forever” with a new glove design.

Ben Amanna, CEO and founder of the Boxraw brand, which already offers a wide range of apparel, says “everything is built with an actual purpose for boxers” and insists his offering is different in a crowded market.

“Everything has always been very sincere to the boxing market, and the same with the products that we launch. In particular, the equipment. It’s all done with an actual need and a problem that we are trying to solve,” he says.

And arguably no problem is bigger for a boxer than hand pain – something Amanna knows from first-hand experience, having suffered with arthritis from a young age, and this ultimately ruling him out of competition.

He started in his hometown when he was 12: “A club in Coventry was offering a free summer class for kids to go down. I went for this summer class and the rest was history – I fell in love with it instantly. But I had to stop boxing competitively around the age of 19 because I developed arthritis in my wrists and knuckles.

“It took the love out of boxing for me. I had to spend a lot of time wrapping my hands and a lot of money on expensive gloves just to try and enjoy boxing.

“I’d be throwing shots on the heavy bag and having to hold my power back or not punch in a certain way as I was worried about how it would impact my wrists.

“Injuries in boxing and to a boxer’s hands are so prevalent and everyone seems to just think that’s just the way it is – that always shocked me.

“I looked at boxing gloves and compared it to other sports and equipment that they use, and you can see a genuine evolution of how products have come to combat certain issues, whereas with boxing gloves, they all just seemed to be doing the same shit.”

Now 33, Amanna is looking to change this. “We’ve got the most aerodynamic glove in the world. We have compared it against all the major competitors. People use our 12oz glove, and [they say] it feels like a 10. People use our 16oz glove, and it feels like a 12. It’s because of the weight distribution and how compact it is.

“I want to create something where they [boxers] don’t have to worry about stupid injuries. I can’t talk too much about the actual features, but put it this way: it’s a glove that will allow you to punch harder and punch faster.”

So, when will this supposedly game-changing glove actually be released? Boxraw have been teasing it for three years now through the research and development stage, but a recent social media post would seem to hint at a pending launch.

“This summer, the boxing world is set to change forever,” said Amanna on Instagram on February 19, in a caption accompanying a video about the creation of the brand’s long-awaited boxing gloves.

While we await this unveiling, Boxraw’s apparel has already been sported by stars of the sport and even been seen on the big screen, with endorsements from the likes of Terence Crawford, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Amanda Serrano, and appearances in the Creed movie franchise.

“We’ve managed to establish a lot of credibility in the industry from having these guys wear the brand,” says Amanna. “It gives validation for the things that we are doing. These guys don’t get paid to wear the brand, these guys wear it because they [like] the brand. They like what we do, and they can see the value that it adds to their lives.”

The involvement with the Creed movies began in the second instalment, when Amanna reached out to the costume designers and arranged for some of the extras to wear Boxraw-branded clothes. Lead actor Michael B Jordan then saw these while on set, liked what he saw, bought some in bulk, and organised for the brand to have a bigger presence in Creed III.

However, while such exposure is priceless, Amanna still feels he could have done better. “It was cool, but the journey for me was a lot more exciting – the whole chase of the idea and what we had to do to be able to get in there,” he says. “Once I actually saw it in the movie, I was watching it thinking ‘I could have done this better, and I could have done that better’. The reality is I’ve got such a big vision of where I’m trying to take this brand.”

And that vision is to promote not just the brand, but boxing itself. “I think a lot of the other boxing brands, historically and even now, haven’t really got a mission to try and improve and push the sport forward,” says Amanna.

“I’ll die with this. I forever wanna be serving and adding benefits to boxers, improving their lives and helping more people to understand the benefits of the sport, that’s the goal.

“It’s so important for us to capture the emotions of the audience so they can actually understand the sport for what it is – it’s not just two guys getting in the ring and trying to take each other’s heads off, it’s a lot more than that. It’s about discipline, it’s about mindfulness, it’s about love and community.”

It is this sense of love and community that explains why, despite suffering from arthritis that prevented him from participating competitively, he is still so passionate about the sport.

When asking Amanna what his end goal is with Boxraw, he is clear and straight to the point: “To be the reason why the world got into boxing.”

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