Why do boxers wear hoods?
September 26, 2006 11:40 PM   Subscribe

Why do boxers wear hooded robes before entering the ring?

This question came up while watching "Raging Bull".. Having no luck finding an answer; it's trivial, but bugging us. Thanks in advance.
posted by hypersloth to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: My guess is that it's a combination of staying warm and looking menacing.
posted by GriffX at 11:58 PM on September 26, 2006

Best answer: Maybe to keep focused? No use looking at the crowd while entering the ring. Or, maybe to hide their face / body until the 'reveal' at the center of the ring. Showboating / bravado?
posted by maxpower at 12:26 AM on September 27, 2006

Best answer: 40% or more of an adult's resting heat loss comes from his/her head. If a boxer wants to stay warmed up, without expending excessive pre-fight energy, he has to keep his head covered.
posted by paulsc at 12:26 AM on September 27, 2006

Best answer: I don't know about boxers in general, but with Raging Bull critics have pointed out that Jake's hood is reminscent of a monk's outfit. In the opening scene he's gracefully shadowboxing in a hooded robe with opera music playing, making the boxing seem like a spiritual thing (the monk's hood allusion highlights that); this contrasts to the shit depths of violence, jealousy, abuse, and potbelly-ness of his life that's to come later in the film.

But more than monks, in general boxers' hooded robes seem to me more reminiscent of the stereotypical hooded executioner. Which makes for a pretty menacing outfit for what's basically a satin bathrobe with a hoodie.
posted by neda at 1:59 AM on September 27, 2006

Best answer: I just asked my ex-boxer Dad, and he confirms the two suggestions above. First, conservation of energy. The boxer will have been working out in the dressing room prior to entering the ring and will want to preserve the heat.
Second, yes, to look badass. Dad cited Sonny Liston as the most terrifying sight he'd ever seen when hooded. He also added that you rarely see amateur boxers with hoods, as they wear headguards which conserve heat anyway.
posted by punilux at 2:47 AM on September 27, 2006

Best answer: Arthur Abraham, the Armenian/German IBF middleweight world champion, wore a crown when he entered the ring to defend his title Saturday.

King Arthur he was, before his opponent broke his jaw in two places. Still, Abraham won, though had to celebrate in hospital on intensive care.

The same Arthur Abraham wore a white Smurf's hat before previous fights, and had the "Smurf's song" play loudly when he walked to the stage. Only, because the Dutch pest 'Father Abraham' wrote that awful song.

And because of psychological warfare on his opponents.
posted by ijsbrand at 3:29 AM on September 27, 2006

following up ijsbrand, he was forced to stop the smurf act due to a cease and desist order from Papa Smurf
posted by markovitch at 8:58 AM on September 27, 2006

There were some absolutely pointless deletions in this thread. No doubt this'll be one of them.
posted by punilux at 12:43 PM on September 27, 2006

What were they?

And: Your Dad fought Liston?
posted by timeistight at 2:04 PM on September 27, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks, all were helpful. My girlfriend and I had guessed at the menacing/heat conservation/focus effect, but didn't know if those were just convenient benefits to a historical precedent of some sort.
The crown/smurf thing backs up the arguments, something on your head for warmth, but also something on your head to throw people off. The executioner thing can be seen in the pointy bit at the top of the hood, unlike most hooded clothing people wear. The veteran boxer input is especially appreciated; I'm sure young boxers just wear it because that's what boxers wear.
Thanks for the info - I love this place..
posted by hypersloth at 1:55 AM on September 28, 2006

Never boxed, but my high-school wrestling team was the only one in the division that wore heavy hooded robes rather than zippered track suits. I think we were the only team that looked like wrestlers, rather than a track team or a Florida condo association meeting.

And while they struggled to keep their balance while awkwardly kicking out of their retiree-suits, we could simply shrug off a robe and charge to the mat without distraction.
posted by Tubes at 7:32 AM on September 28, 2006

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