Gary Russell Jr has had a history of hand problems, which could be the reason for his poor knockout ratio against lesser competition. In an interesting piece from Lem Satterfield of The Ring, Gary Russell talks about his new preparations especially the use of new glove technology.
"I've been using these gloves called Protex 3's, which is a big factor and a big plus as far as my sparring gloves and my bag gloves and everyting. Protex 3s, man, they offer more cushion for my hands and they're for guys who have hand injuries, and they've worked perfectly. They've given me the chance to actually work on what I want to work on and to still be effective," said Russell.
"So everything is better, as far as the way that I wrap my hands during my training. The way that I allow my hands a chance to rest. The change in gloves also played a big role in the condition of my hands. I feel good, no hand injuries. This has been one of the best training camps that I've ever been in so far."
Essentially the Protex3 line from Everlast has special foam in order to dissipate the force of the impact from a punch. Also these gloves have a bit of an arc in them to align the wrist and the forearm, lowering the potential for injury.
I would assume that the most prevalent injury would be the so called "boxer's fracture," a fracture of the fifth metacarpal (the on the furthest away from the thumb). In order to prevent this type of injury, hand wraps and gloves are used. The hand wraps push all of the bones together in the hand, to prevent the small bone from taking a large portion of force. The gloves are used, as mentioned earlier, to spread out the impact from landing a punch. Having different kinds of foam in the gloves will change how much force the glove itself will absorb and how the remaining force gets distributed into the hand and wrist.
Being a bit of a nerd, it is really cool to see that impact technology is actually helping boxers perform to their theoretical peak. We've seen hand problems hound fighters like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Paulie Malignaggi, so it good to see that manufacturers are looking to solve this serious problem.
Gary Russell Jr returns to the ring on February 11 against Dat Nguyen, part of the Ortiz vs Berto card on Showtime.