On the highly debated topic of the Mayweather McGregor gloves Boxing News and Views spoke exclusively to the Executive Director of the NSAC.
Bob Bennett is the Executive Director of Nevada State Athletic Commission who are the government body in the US responsible for regulating professional boxing in Las Vegas and will be overseeing next week’s fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor at the T-Mobile Arena.
I wanted to get Mr.Bennett’s opinion on the exception ruling made by the Commission to allow for the first time ever, a pro boxing bout at 155lbs to use eight ounce gloves during a professional contest in next week’s Mayweather vs McGregor showdown.
A matchup that will see Irishman McGregor attempt to cross over from the sport of mixed martial arts and make his pro boxing debut against Mayweather.
He told me:
“I think like the Commissioner stated, we maintain the integrity of our rules and we are reluctant to change in the rules since this rule has been in effect since 2006.
But, based on the fact that we have two separate disciplines (boxing and MMA) it’s pretty much unprecedented and the fact we have two warriors that are willing to use eight ounce gloves, and in an effort to accommodate them because this is a bit of an anomaly because they are two separate disciplines.
You have Conor who is used to four ounce gloves (in UFC) – now all of a sudden he has to go to ten (ounces). That’s a big change for him – as opposed to dropping down two more ounces and going to eight. It works much better for Conor in that regard and that was his camp’s position.
And for Floyd, Floyd fought most of his career at 147lbs (welterweight) and used eight ounce gloves. I think there was only around three fights that he didn’t use eight ounce gloves. Once was against Canelo (Alvarez), once was against (Miguel) Cotto and a long time ago was (Oscar) De La Hoya. But by in large, Floyd has always used eight ounce gloves and he hasn’t really knocked anybody out in more than ten years – except Ricky Hatton.
We are always concerned about the health and safety of the fighter but based on the fact that both camps came forward and we were in a position to approve this on a one time approval based on a couple of stipulations, that being we see the gloves and expect them before the fight – which is normal for us anyway. We get to see the gloves seventy two hours in advance. We weigh them. We inspect them. But we also have to receive the gloves at the end of the fight – that being the gloves they wore and the alternate gloves and we will cut them open to make sure there’s no horse hair in there and that the gloves are the way we inspected them beforehand.
We are also continuing to do a study to find out if there’s really any scientific evidence that dictates going from eight to ten ounce gloves at 147lbs. We know it’s a controversial issue but there is no scientific evidence at this stage of the game and that’s because you know from being in the fight business, you throw a punch from a litany of angles and from varying degree of position.”
I then proceeded to ask Mr.Bennett could this case set a precedence for other fighters making similar requests in the future and was it something that worries the Commission going forward – to which he replied:
“Even though we are making this one fight exception, until our study is complete – it appears that the Chairman and the Commissioners are not going to approve anymore fights above 147lbs with eight ounce gloves until we complete the study. This rule obviously was put in place for the health and safety of the fighters but because this is sort of a historic anomaly of a fight with two disciplines, it kind of levels the playing field if you will.”
As our conversation came towards an end I asked Bob did he know what brand of gloves will be used in the contest, to which he concluded:
“Right now I believe that Floyd is going to be using Grant gloves. I’m not sure what Conor is going to be using. I’m told that Conor could be using possibly Grant or Everlast but I do not know for sure yet.”