When you look back to the glory days of boxing i.e. the days of Muhammad Ali all the way through to Sugar Ray Leonard, you’ll notice the shorts were much smaller, shorter and the groin guard far less prominent. Fast forward to the 1990’s/2000’s and look at what is fashionable now and you’ll see the long, baggy look with huge groin guards that cover almost the whole stomach are really popular. So why exactly is this, and should boxing go more in the direction of MMA?

1         (Pictured above: Sugar Ray Leonard & Muhammad Ali in action in their hayday)

2     (Pictured above: David Haye & Audley Harrison during their WBA title clash in 2010)

The first point to make is, does it really matter if they are longer and baggier, surely it is just a matter of opinion and what people prefer to wear? Well, that would be the case if the groin guards had stayed the same size, but if you compare the two pictures above, it is very noticeable that modern boxers are far more covered up in the stomach area. This potentially gives them more protection from body shots that their predecessors wouldn’t have been protected from, thus giving them an advantage.

If you take a look at MMA shorts and how they compare, you’ll see they are far more like the old style boxing shorts yet still have plenty of space to fit a design on as well as commercial sponsors.

3       (Picured above: MMA legend Chuck Lidell)

Finally, and most importantly it is down to opinion, what do you prefer? Personally, I am in favour of the MMA shorts style, let us know what you think in the comments section below!