Boxing Glove Ounces (Explained)

What Is The Difference Between 12, 14, and 16 Ounce Boxing Gloves?

Generally, the difference is cushioning for your fist. Boxing gloves are measured by weight, using ounces, not size. The standard boxing glove weights are 12, 14, and 16 ounces. The number of ounces refers to the weight of each glove, which indicates how much padding remains between your hand and the opponent (or the bag). Generally, a lighter glove is more well-suited for practice, while a heavier glove is better for fighting or sparring.

How Many Ounces Should My Boxing Gloves Be?

The ideal weight of your boxing gloves depends on your size and on the type of boxing you intend to do. Men and women should choose their glove size based on weight class, not gender or sex. Here is some basic sizing information based on boxer weight class:

On the heavy bag:

  • Under 100 lbs (including children): 6-8 oz gloves
  • 100-125 lbs: 10 oz gloves
  • 125-150 lbs: 12 oz gloves
  • 150-175 lbs: 14 oz gloves
  • 175+ lbs: 16+ oz gloves

In a spar or fight, boxers should go up one size (2 ounces) to ensure safety and comfort while boxing. For a good versatile all-around glove size, or if you’re not sure whether you will be fighting or just working out on the bag, choose a 12 or 14 ounce glove to get started.

You can also choose a glove size based on your training goals. Since a heavier glove weighs more, it requires more effort to lift your hands and punch the bag. If you are working on strengthening your muscles and building endurance, try sizing up to train with a heavier glove. If you are working on building speed, try sizing down to increase your output. Professional boxers have several pairs of gloves, and change glove size based on their goals. For more on this, watch this video that talks about how different glove sizes impact training goals (How To Choose Boxing Glove Weight).

For more information on how to choose the best boxing gloves for beginners, read this article (Boxing Glove Guide For Beginners).

Does a Heavier Glove Hit Harder?

No. A heavier glove does not hit harder, nor does it hurt the opponent more. Choosing a heavier glove is more about ensuring the safety of you and your partner than about inflicting damage on an opponent.

Heavier gloves have more padding, designed to better soften the blow of a hard hit as you leverage your body weight into a punch. To hit harder, work on improving your technique - not sizing up your gloves. If you want to improve your form and try some drills and workouts, learn about the best boxing and punching techniques for beginners here (Best Boxing and Punching Techniques).

The Author: Tommy Duquette is the Co-Founder and Head of Content at FightCamp. He is a former US Boxing Team member with 136 fights under his belt and qualified for the 2012 Olympic trials as the #2 seed. He has 18 years experience training clients in boxing and fitness.