The addition of gloves was a revolution for boxing. In bare-knuckle boxing, there was a large problem for defending boxers sustaining eye injuries, and the striking boxer sustaining hand injuries. Gloves now are made of a leather lining stuffed with cotton padding or even horse hair in some instances.
The weight of the gloves will often determine their use. Most sanctioning bodies require that gloves worn for fights weigh either 10 or 12 oz. Gloves can go up to as much as 20 oz., however. These heavier gloves are used to increase strength, speed and offer an extra bit of protection. For example, when sparring, a boxer is not determined to knock out his opponent, but to refine his skills and train. Using heavier gloves, usually 16 oz. and above for males, protects the sparring partner, and helps facilitate this training. On the other hand, lighter gloves, such as 12 or 10 oz. gloves can be used for training with pad work. This helps to find punch rhythms in combinations, and offers significantly increases hand speed.
In amateur settings, boxers middleweight and above are required to wear 12 oz. gloves, and boxers below that threshold wear 10 oz. gloves. Another point of difference occurs with female fighters. Though often proving to be controversial, all women's fights use 10 oz. gloves, regardless of weight class. Children usually use gloves between four and eight oz., with the heavier end of that range being used by pre-teens before moving to standard weight rules.