Why Are Boxing Shorts So High?

Why Are Boxing Shorts so High?

Boxing, which was once one of the most popular sports globally, had been in decline till the feuds between Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Conor Mcgregor brought it back to the limelight. While All boxing fans love to see the heated exchange of blows between to boxers, have you ever wondered whether or not there is a purpose behind a boxer wearing their shorts so high?

All blows below the hypothetical line drawn from the top of one hipbone to the other are considered low-blows. Boxers tend to wear their shorts high to gain their opponents’ psychological advantage by hiding this line and throwing off their punches. 

Naturally, in a competitive contact sport like boxing, every aspect of a boxer’s attire plays a role in their ability to fight. All items of clothing a boxer wears can be considered a piece of equipment essential for their performance. The rest of this article will discuss the various purposes a boxer’s shorts fulfill that you never could’ve guessed! Let’s begin!

Why are boxing shorts so high?

As I mentioned above, one of the core reasons for boxers wearing their shorts high is to protect themselves from body blows by riding up the shorts. Although the shorts’ height technically does not determine which blows are legal, this trick can confuse the opponent and the referee. Not only will the opponent have difficulty finding areas, which are legal to punch, but the referee might also even declare a punch above the imaginary line illegal as that area of the body isn’t visible.  Even if the referee makes the correct call, the crowd will surely start howling their eyes; it will be a foul.

One of the reasons for this is the discomfort that the bulk of the groin protector brings. The groin protector is worn pretty high and wearing your shorts lower than it would result in a restriction when it comes to your leg movements. Although this is a legitimate reason for wearing the shorts relatively high, some boxers exaggerate this to use the trick mentioned above.

Another important reason for wearing your shorts high is to boost mobility. Often, if baggy shorts are hanging too low, they restrict the legs’ movement, which is naturally undesirable for a boxer. Furthermore, using your shorts to cover your lower belly will add a layer of protection, which may prevent you from getting winded by any blows directed towards your belly. 

Why do boxers wear such big shorts?

Have you ever wondered why boxer’s shorts are so baggy and huge? The answers to this question will seem very simple when you find them out.

One of the major reasons for boxers wearing big baggy shorts is to improve air circulation around their legs. Boxing is a physically taxing sport that requires a lot of sophisticated yet straining footwork. Unlike MMA, boxers don’t use their legs to hit their opponents, so it won’t make sense to use tighter shorts/trousers, which makes it easier for them to lift their legs. Baggy shorts, on the other hand, will not only give their legs room to breathe in a packed arena, but it will also allow for better blood circulation in their legs.

Like the height of the shorts, the foul protector’s size also determines the size of the shorts. It is a big piece of equipment that goes under the shorts to keep your reproductive organs protected from any damage. Naturally, the bigger the foul protector, the bigger the shorts need to be to accommodate its size. Furthermore, bigger groin protectors usually offer better protection, which is why some boxers forego a streamlined look to have better protection for their reproductive organs.

One of the reasons why boxers’ shorts have grown in size over time is the influx of sponsors wanting to advertise through boxers. An example would be Manny Pacquiao’s shorts in his match against Floyd Mayweather, which alone made him 2.25 million dollars through sponsors. As boxing’s sport becomes more commercialized, naturally, athletes would try to find ways to make more money, and the increase in the size of boxing shorts could be another one of those ways.

This theory seems more and more plausible after seeing the growth in the popularity of MMA and boxing collectively in recent years. Fighters like Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather have earned millions by fighting singular matches, which were advertised to be the century’s biggest fights. 

Why do boxers wear belts?

Like every piece of clothing a boxer wears, the belt also has its purpose. The main reason for a belt is to indicate whether or not a punch was below the belt. While some boxers wear their shorts and belt higher to throw the opponent off, the real purpose of a belt is to align with the imaginary line, below which you cannot punch.

A common misconception around the belt of a boxers’ shorts is that the phrase ‘below the belt’ is taken literally. This is why some people believe that by wearing their shorts higher, boxers make their bodies below the belt illegal. In reality, the fixed hypothetical line is what matters, not the placement of the belt. Apart from this, the belt also allows the shorts to be tighter around the waist, boosting mobility. 

Why do they pour water down boxers’ shorts?

I can bet there has been a time when you have seen boxers having cold water poured down their shorts and wondered what they are doing. The reasons behind pouring cold water down a boxers’ shorts are fairly simple. The crotch alongside the head and the armpits is one of the heat centers of the body. Coldwater being poured on a heat spot such as your crotch results in your body cooling down, making it easier to regain stamina.

In addition to this, the cold water also has a shock effect on your body, which for a temporary period, wakes you up and makes you more active. This way, boxers can get surges of energy after each round by using cold water. Although this method is temporary, it’s efficacy cannot be questioned.

Stefano Secci, French Savate Boxing, and Martial Arts champion
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Stefano Secci

Stefano Secci was born on the outskirts of Genoa. He began practicing sports at 11 by enrolling in a Ju-Jitsu class; from there, I have not stopped playing sports until today. At 16, he switched to French Savate Boxing, which I married and has remained my first and only true love. Our testing and reviewing method.
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