Many boxers wear robes when they appear for a fight, as fans and spectators alike will notice. What is the purpose of these items? Is it a traditional robe? Is there any use for them?
Answering these questions, in a nutshell, is both. There are several reasons boxing robes have become an increasingly popular item, including their traditional heritage and the practical purpose of preserving heat before the match begins. Furthermore, hoods also play an essential part in blocking out some of the sensory overload experienced by boxers when they walk out into the crowd for the first time.
Edwin "Red" Sabers of Dubuque wore this blue felt boxing robe during his boxing career. In 1920, Sabers was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and had a stellar career as an athlete and a renowned boxer in the welterweight division of the Catholic Youth Organization. When he was 18 years old, he was invited to fight in preliminary bouts before the Chicago CYO-Ireland international bouts of 1939; he was one of 16 boxers invited to participate in those bouts. A crowd of more than 35,000 watched him defeat Red McCusker of Chicago in front of a large crowd at Soldier Field, Chicago.
In the early days of boxing, boxing robes were designed so that athletes would remain warm during the introductions after their warm-ups, which would prevent muscle strain, even though the material was heavier at the time. Wool is the material used to make this robe. Eventually, these robes evolved into the satin robes we are all familiar with today as a result of time. On the inside, there is a label with Red's name written on it and on the back, there is a patch with his CYO logo attached.
Founded in Chicago in 1930, the Catholic Youth Organization became one of the world's largest youth organizations. In the Great Depression, the CYO was established to provide a sense of community and activities, usually sports, for young men who otherwise would be involved in criminal activity. As one of the first youth organizations to do away with discrimination based on race, gender, or religion, CYO was unique amongst youth organizations at the time.
It is worth noting that in addition to boxing, Red competed in speed skating, golf, football, and fast-pitch softball, earning him a place in the Dubuque Fast Pitch Hall of Fame for his accomplishments in these sports. It is tragically reported that he passed away in 2020 after serving in the Pacific Theater of World War II.
In the modern day, the majority of professional boxers wear robes in the ring when they are fighting. There have, however, been a few notable exceptions to this rule. A well-known fighter of this type was probably Mike Tyson, a heavyweight. His opinion was that he could make a more robust entry into the ring when he was not wearing a robe.
A metallic clang was heard as Mike Tyson walked out of the ring, which he had intended to use as an intimidation mechanism against his opponent and the crowd before entering the ring. By choosing not to wear a robe, he showed his confidence and dominance to his opponent and the public by bearing himself in front of them. By choosing not to wear a robe, he showed he was unafraid.