"Golden Gloves" boxers

Why is it that whenever I hear the bio of any professional boxer, or even someone who used to be a professional boxer, they are always referred to as being a “golden gloves” champion of some sort. What exactly is golden gloves, and how can so many boxers be given this award? If your grandfather was a boxer, he was a golden gloves champion. Several UFC MMA fighters are former “golden gloves” boxers.

It’s so common that it seems like a de facto term for anyone who did any amount of professional boxing. If you have more than 1 pro fight can you send away $10 and get a “golden gloves” certificate from somewhere? I assume that’s how it works. Maybe you need to prove at least one professional win, or more than 3 pro fights, or something like that. Or maybe it’s like “All American” and college athletes.

I’ve been scoffing at this term for years now, and when I saw someone in an internet forum refer to himself as a “golden gloves champion” boxer, I figured it’s about time I actually ask what the term “golden gloves” actually means and why it’s so ridiculously pervasive.

“Golden Gloves” refers to fairly well respected regional and national amateur boxing competitions. If somebody is a legitimate regional, state or national Golden Gloves champion, they fought at a high level of competition as an amateur. Sonny Liston, Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson were National Golden Gloves Champions as amateurs.

Moved to the Game Room.

General Questions Moderator

Considering the number of tournaments and weight classes, I would guess there are dozens if not hundreds of Golden Gloves champions every year. Anyone good enough to eventually become a professional boxer will very likely have won a Golden Glove title of some kind as an amateur before becoming a professional.

Ok so it’s an amateur credential of sorts.

There must be hundreds (if not thousands) per year based on how frequently I hear it.

Yeah, there’s a bunch. Wikipedia lists 31 different regional competitions below the nationals, each with champions each year in each weight class. Add to that the number of non-champions who can legitimately say “I boxed Golden Gloves” and there are even more people making the claim to “Golden Gloves boxer.”

Not only that, bear in mind that “Golden Gloves Champions” aren’t the only group seemingly overrepresented on the internet. Navy SEALs seem pretty ubiquitous, too. :smiley:

Yea I was using “golden gloves boxer” and “golden gloves champion” interchangeably but I guess there is a difference.

I saw the wikipedia page (i did try to look it up before asking here) but I still didn’t see what any criteria were, if it’s something you earn, something you apply for (20 bucks and you get a GG certificate or whatnot).

It’s not only online… unlike there being so many online “navy seals” it seems there really are tens of thousands of “golden gloves” boxers. Seems anyone who did any amateur boxing (which presumably includes most if not all professionals) has the words “golden gloves” on his or her resume. It’s not only now… anyone’s father or grandfather who boxed was a “golden gloves” boxer.

In my little town, there was a sheet metal fabricator. They did their civic thing and hired students for the summer.
They used to put them on punch presses (every one of which (I worked there one summer a 4-5 years later) had its hand-protection device* broken) until one kid lost both hands.

It was especially tragic because he was a Golden Gloves boxer with potential.

It seems that every kid who wants to box signs up - kind of like boy scouts for kids who want to go camping.

    • these were tiny machines - they had 2 broomsticks which would sweep outwards as the platen came down. Most were broken, some had been removed entirely. One year there was a prolonged strike - I would have thought that “keep at least 50 broomsticks on hand” would have been included.

Below Golden Gloves there is (was?) Silver Gloves. In the early 80s I went to a Silver Gloves championship bout where ringside seats were reasonably priced. It was interesting. There was blood splatter!

For a professional boxer, having been a Golden Gloves champion is probably equivalent to having been a star player on your Little League or high school baseball team for an MLB player. It pretty much comes with the territory.

Link to the National Golden Gloves website

The Golden Gloves national champions in years before Olympic years automatically qualify for the USA Olympic Team qualifying tournament (assuming the Golden Gloves tournament doesn’t break any major USA Boxing rules - there were some problems in 2011).