I have my first amateur boxing match, what gear do I need in 2023?

I have my first amateur boxing match, what gear do I need in 2023? - Box-Up Nation™

I have my first amateur boxing match, what gear do I need in 2023?


            You’ve done your roadwork, you’ve got your rounds on the bag, put in serious rounds sparring, made the weight and now you’re ready to showcase your skills, but you forgot one thing, you need USA boxing approved equipment! It’s one of the most common questions I get asked and normally it’s under urgent circumstances. While training for a fight it’s often easy to forget about the small details like, what gear is required for a USA boxing sanctioned event in 2023.  Here's a cheat sheet that’ll get you to the ring.


            Do I need to buy gloves?

For a USA boxing sanctioned event you are not required to bring your own gloves, in fact it is the obligation of the event organizer to provide USA Boxing approved gloves; furthermore, they must be approved by the official in charge and according to rule 36.4 in the USA Boxing rulebook a boxer is not permitted to wear their own gloves.


Can I just use my training headgear?

That depends, does your headgear have the USA boxing approved label on it? If not, then it probably won’t cut it. Rule 37.1 in the USA Boxing rulebook states you need either the USA boxing approved label or the AIBA Stamp on your gear for it to be approved for your sanctioned bout.  It’s easy to spot these headgears usually the say “competition” headgear in the title or have the USA boxing/ AIBA boxing approved stamp visibly shown on the product or product description. You have a choice of check protector or non-cheek protector styled headgear. Although red or blue colored headgear is recommended you have the option of choosing variety of colored headgear if it’s USA boxing approved/AIBA approved, yet some national events may be firmer on the policy, it’s important to check the event fact sheet (35, USA boxing handbook). I’ve linked an approved USA boxing headgear below for reference:


USA Boxing approved headgear/ Cheek protector:

Competition headgear w/cheek protector


USA Boxing approved headgear/ Open face:

competition headgear/ Open Face



Do I need a USA boxing approved mouthpiece? No, but you do need a mouthguard to compete. If you wear braces you must have a completed release to compete with braces for boxers under 18 years of age.


Dentist approved mouthguard


Do I need to wear a cup?

Yes, although there isn’t an official USA boxing approved cup if you’re a male you’ll need a groin guard, for females it’s optional and so is a breast protector.

Popular Protective cups

Do I need a Uniform? What about Shoes?


According to the USA boxing rulebook you’ll need shorts that are no shorter than mid-thigh, cannot cover the knee, and must be worn above beltline. The beltline must have a clear contrasting color with an elastic band that’s 2-4 inches wide, so basically the trunks waistband must be a different color than the shirt. The shirt worn must be a short-sleeved singlet or jersey that a different color from the waistband of the shorts.  As far as shoes go, you’ll need a lightweight pair of shoes that doesn’t have spikes or heels on them, and your socks can’t be longer than knee length. I’ve attached a link to a couple of options below for reference:

Everlast Elite Boxing Shoe  or  Fly Boxing Shoe


This pretty much sums up what you’ll need to compete for you first amateur boxing match, approved headgear, proper shoes, clothing, mouthpiece, and protective cup. For a more detailed breakdown of uniform specifications and to get the full USA boxing handbook for 2022 click the link below:

 USA Boxing Rulebook 2022