Tyson Fury: Are a bobbling glove, slapping illegal?
Some in boxing insist lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, in his recent title-taking win over Deontay Wilder, let his hand slip down in the glove to where the knuckles are not protected by any padding and proceeded to slap hooks in a way where the part of the glove without padding connected.
Former Fury foe Steve Cunningham, who initially thought it was a mere conspiracy theory and a deliberate smear campaign against Fury, now believes Tyson was guilty of purposely landing shots with an area of the glove where there was little or no padding. Of course, that would have given him an advantage. The less padding, the more dangerous the punch.
Taking to social media, Cunningham demanded an explanation from Fury’s camp:
“No ones still given a logical reasonable believable explanation for a fighters glove to move like this in a fight. “It’s not a flick jab. It’s a bobbling glove. Until this is explained, I stand my ground.”
“Who throws a hook like this. Slapping a hook? – Nobody. Nobody is taught to slap a hook like that,” Cunningham stressed. “Why is Tyson Fury throwing a hook like this? – Especially at that level of boxing."
Smear campaign or not, Cunningham is correct about one thing... NO ONE is taught to punch like that as it's not only against the rules, it's a fine way to break a wrist.
“Now you see he’s landing, in the video footage and pictures, he’s landing the shot on the chin with this (exposed) part of the glove, where there’s no padding," Cunningham added.
“What does he get out of that? – He basically gets skin (from the face) on bone (from the knuckles) – to an extent. Just this thin layer of leather.
Athletes are always looking for an advantage and sometimes their tactics flirt with the boundaries of legalism.
For starters, is a bobbling glove even illegal? If not, maybe it should be. Should the referee check the fighters' gloves between rounds?
As for slapping, there is a rule that states: You cannot hit with an open glove, the inside of the glove, the wrist, the backhand, or the side of the hand.
But, let's not forget Joe Calzaghe threw a lot of slapping shots and finished with a record of 45-0. He would have certainly been disqualified or heavily warned if the rule against slapping was widely enforced.
Rules in boxing are enforced to varying degrees and not all are created equal.
There's clear evidence of Fury hitting with an open glove and with the inside of the glove, but the referee either failed to catch the infractions or didn't enforce the rule.
Let's go back to Amir Khan vs Lamont Peterson in December 2011.
Khan, who lost two points for excessive pushing, dropped a close points verdict to Peterson. Those deductions cost Khan the fight - and his title.
And although Khan was given ample warnings prior to the deductions, his team was incensed because referees usually don't penalize for pushing.
But, it's the referee's call. He can penalize at his discretion.
Excessive pushing, like slapping or hitting with the inside of the glove, is against the rules (regardless of the laxed enforcement).
And like pushing, slapping (and hitting with the inside of the glove) appears to be one of those rarely enforced rule breaks.
Perhaps the art of slapping needs a second look?
Maybe the rule should be enforced more, a la low blows and rabbit punches.
Fury's victory over Wilder certainly can't be contested because the referee didn't issue as much as a warning for slapping. However, now is a good time for boxing's 'powers that be' to ensure rules against such tactics are enforced.... or legalize the action.