Created By: ZarbiNerada on October 19, 2012 Last Edited By: DAN004 on February 18, 2016
Troped

Weighted Gloves

Hiding something hard in a boxing glove to increase the punch\'s power.

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Trope
DAN 004 wuz ere takin over ur druft


It is a stock cheat in boxing for one to conceal something hard and heavy in one's glove. Classically done with a horseshoe.

A character employing this tactic in non-professional contexts is probably a Combat Pragmatist.

Interestingly, the point of a boxing glove is not to dampen the blow, it's to protect the hand. Hiding a horseshoe (or similarly hard things) in your boxing glove would be just as likely to damage your fingers as your opponent's face. This simply makes it an Acceptable Break from Reality.

Compare Power Fist; Power Fists may be used in straight fights as much as it is for cheating. Compare also Tricked-Out Gloves for gloves that are used for more than just punching. Handbag of Hurt and Sock It To Them also commonly go with a similar principle: something heavy is put inside the handbag/sock so it can pack hard hit.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Used in a pillow fight in Mahou Sensei Negima!. Obviously, the rules call for pillows to be used, but Rules Lawyer Yue figures that she can use heavy books to hit her opponents if she's hitting the pillows (with them underneath). She is a lot more blatant about this when they realise she's hiding books in her pillows.
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, Hannya, whose fighting style revolves around punching his enemies, hides iron knuckledusters in his otherwise normal looking gloves.

Comics
  • Played for Laughs in one issue of Little Archie. Little Jughead gives Little Artchie a pair of lead weights while they're training for a boxing match; he instantly refuses, saying "That's cheating." Jughead informs him that the weights are only for training purposes; when they take the weights out for the real fight, his punches will be harder. Mr. Weatherbee brings some of his colleagues to watch the pair train, and Archie's glove slips off and hits Weatherbee in his Glass Jaw. The other teachers comment "wow, knocked out by an empty glove!"
  • Happens in the Steampunk Halloween 2012 comic from Antarctic Press. A boxer fighting Dr Frankensteam's creation slips a horseshoe into his glove. However, the horseshoe shatters when he punches the monster.

Film
  • Ancillary materials to Batman Begins explain that Bruce packed the Batsuit's gloves with lead shot.
  • An early example can be found in the 1915 movie The Champion, where Charlie Chaplin finds a "good luck" horseshoe just as he passes a training camp advertising for a boxing partner "who can take a beating." After watching others lose badly, Charlie decides to enhance his chances of survival by sneaking the horseshoe into his right glove. Of course, he wins the fight.
    • Subverted in Chaplin's later film City Lights, which has a similar plot of the hero volunteering for a box fight to raise money. In the locker room he finds a horseshoe which he fiddles with but eventually dismisses and goes to fight without. We can only assume that Chaplin figured that people would have seen the previous horseshoe scene in The Champion and expected him to try the same trick again. This time he fools them by tossing it away.

Literature
  • In By The Great Horn Spoon, which is set during the 1840s California Gold Rush, the butler Praiseworthy hides gold dust in his gloves to keep it from being found. Later their coach is robbed, and Praiseworthy socks one of the robbers several feet into the air with his gold-weighted gloves. As such he gets rumored around town to be an incredible fistfighter, and so starts studying boxing to keep up his reputation for the real fights.

Live-Action TV
  • The "Fight Night" episode of CSI centered on a boxing match. The winner of the match was found to have injected mercury into his glove.
  • In the "Collateral Damage" episode of Blue Bloods a bunch of executives engage in boxing Fight Club. When one of them dies after a match, the detectives find that the winner's gloves have been doctored to make them heavier.
  • In the "Old Mrs. Old" episode of Malcolm in the Middle, Dewey carries a purse (or man-handbag) to school and is bullied by other kids on the way home for doing so. But then he swings it at one of the kids, and whap!—turns out he put a brick inside it.
  • A variant: The episode "Requiem for a Lightweight" from M*A*S*H has Trapper agree to fight General Barker's goon to win back a pretty nurse. Knowing he'd be pummeled to jelly otherwise, Trapper allows Hawkeye to soak his boxing gloves in ether. By keeping his glove near his opponent's nose, Trapper exposes him to enough ether fumes to pass out in the ring, thus winning the match.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has a Villain of the Week who plays with this trope. Carl Creel note  could change parts or all of his body into anything he touched. Before getting recruited by HYDRA, he was a boxer and would hide steel hands under his gloves.
  • In the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries episode "Deadweight" Weighted Gloves are used against a young boxer in a local boxing ring until Constable Hugh Collins steps in and tells them to ditch them.
  • The Smallville episode "Jinx" reverses this as Clark plans to hide a piece of kryptonite in his football gloves to try to weaken himself so he can compete on a level footing. It doesn't work.

Professional Wrestling
  • The Iron Sheik had a loaded boot. When he set his opponent up for the finisher, he'd shake his boot, causing all the lead pellets (or whatever was supposed to be in there) to collect at the tip of his boot, so a kick would knock his opponent unconscious.

Video Games
  • There's a minor character in Skyrim who boasts about winning a brawl by using a horseshoe as a knuckle-duster. Fittingly, his name is Irnskar Iron-Hand.
  • In Fallout 2, you can make a name for yourself as a boxer in New Reno. During the boxing matches, you are stripped of all equipment and given a pair of boxing gloves to fight with, and any other attack will disqualify the PC. The boxing gloves deal very little damage, and the PC needs either good critical hits or dedicated damage perks to win. However, in the same city, you can find a pair of boxing gloves with plates slipped into the knuckles, allowing all but the last fight to be won by dealing hit point damage (it is possible for a character to be too weak in combat to do even that, but most such characters are disallowed from the boxing ring anyway).
  • Aran Ryan, one of the boxers in the remake of Punch-Out!! has horseshoes in his gloves; this provides the picture for Trying to Catch Me Fighting Dirty.
  • A variation in Twilight Princess: in order to get into the Goron mines, you need to defeat their elder in a sumo match. The Gorons are twice Link's height and made of stone, so naturally he gets sent flying in a second. Link asks the only human ever to defeat a Goron in sumo wrestling, who reveals he used a little secret: massive weighted boots that allowed him to withstand the Goron's charge. The Gorons are very much against cheating, but they never notice you putting the boots on.

Webcomics
  • In Use Sword on Monster Hilda wears sap gloves, not really legal but useful for taking someone out without killing them. Especially seeing how as a "sword-swinger" the magic makes her fight on autopilot until her enemy is no longer a threat.

Western Animation
  • Merrie Melodies
    • There is a cartoon where, after a boxer lands an especially telling punch, the referee stops the bout and checks the boxer's glove. Upon removing and shaking the glove, out drops a horseshoe... then three more horseshoes... then a confused-looking horse.
    • In "Hare Trimming", Bugs pretends to be a French gentlemen rival to Yosemite Sam for the love of a rich widow. Sam gives Bugs "a taste of leather" and Bugs responds in kind... but not before putting a brick inside the glove. After hitting Sam, he shakes out the pulverized remains.
    • In Porky Pig's Feat, Daffy, having lost the money to pay his and Porky's hotel bill in a craps game, insults the hotel manager after refusing to pay. The manager slaps Daffy with his glove and challenges him to a duel ("You have insulted me! We meet on the field of honor! My Card"). Daffy then slips a horseshoe into a glove and imitates the challenge ("You have insult me! We meet on the field of onion!") and hits the manager with the glove, then slaps a piece of flypaper on his face ("My card, you cad!")
    • "Rabbit Punch" has the boxer and Bugs remove their gloves. When Bugs removed his, horseshoes fell out of them.
  • The Simpsons. In "The Homer They Fall" episode, Homer sees that Moe has a boxing glove with barbed wire on it. Moe says "yeah, they don't let you use that no more."
  • In the Donald Duck cartoon "Canvas Back Duck", Donald's nephews put scraps of metal in his glove, but it only makes the glove too heavy to lift. His hand slips off and his fist accidentally hits the other fighter in the jaw. Fortunately, the opponent had a "glass jaw" and is out like a light.
  • On the Goofy cartoon "The Art of Self-Defense", two 18th Century dandies slap each other with gloves. During a break in the action, one of them sneaks his snuff box into his glove.
  • Tex Avery's Lonesome Lenny has a gag where the titular dog punches Screwy Squirrel with a hard boxing glove. Screwy then empties out four horseshoes...plus the horse.
  • Legend Of Korra. In probending, waterbenders are the only ones allowed to use headshots due to the Soft Water trope. One of the ways the Wolfbats cheat is by adding rocks into their water missiles, which does more damage.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures also used the "horseshoes-and-horse-in-the-glove" variant of the gag in "Citizen Max".
  • The 1950 Friz Freleng cartoon "Stooge For A Mouse" has a hungry mouse load horseshoes into a boxing glove, then tie the glove onto Sylvester's hand while the cat naps. The mouse then uses a magnet below the floorboards to compel Sylvester to fly at a bulldog fist-first. Once the cat and dog have demolished each other, the mouse has a clear shot at the Cartoon Cheese.

Real Life
  • Sap gloves are leather or vinyl gloves with weights sewn into the knuckles. Their primary intention is to protect the wearer from injury, while the metal powder or shot adds mass and thus kinetic energy to the punch. Properly executed, they can be used to punch through glass and concrete.
  • The annual pillow fight at the West Point Military Academy is a long-standing tradition. But it appears that in 2015, the more gung-ho cadets over-did it by adding unauthorised fillings to their pillowcases, up to and including metal footlocker boxes. Apparently thirty cadets were hospitalised and WP management is reviewing the event. see here.
  • The tragic case of Billy Collins v. Luis Resto. Before the match, Resto's trainer soaked Resto's hand wraps in plaster of Paris and removed the padding from his gloves, resulting in his punches hitting far harder than they would have otherwise. After an investigation, Resto was banned from boxing and spent several years in prison. Unfortunately, Resto's punches had been hard enough to cause brain damage in Collins which left him with permanently blurred vision, ending his boxing career and leading him to commit suicide.

Community Feedback Replies: 60
  • October 19, 2012
    JohnnyCache
    I seem to remember one Merrie Melodies cartoon where, after a boxer lands an especially telling punch, the referee stops the bout and checks the boxer's glove. Upon removing and shaking the glove, out drops a horseshoe... then three more horseshoes... then a confused-looking horse.
  • October 19, 2012
    NimmerStill
    • The Simpsons: In "The Homer They Fall" Homer sees that Moe has a boxing glove with barbed wire on it. Moe says "yeah, they don't let you use that no more."
  • October 19, 2012
    nielas
    • An episode of CSI centered on a boxing match. The winner of the match was found to have injected mercury into his glove.

    • In an episode of Blue Bloods a bunch of executives engage in boxing Fight Club. When one of them dies after a match, the detectives find that the winner's gloves have been doctored to make them heavier.
  • October 19, 2012
    Astaroth
    A character employing this tactic is probably a Combat Pragmatist

    • There's a minor charcter in Skyrim who boasts about winning a brawl by using a horseshoe as a knuckle-duster. Fittingly, his name is Irnskar Iron-Hand.
  • October 19, 2012
    Chabal2
    By The Great Horn Spoon: the butler wins a reputation as a Memetic Badass first when he punches out a stagerobber then a very large miner who wanted to test him. In both cases (the first was an accident), he had gold dust accumulated in the fingers of his gloves, making them much heavier.
  • October 19, 2012
    Khantalas
    • In Fallout 2, you can make a name for yourself as a boxer in New Reno. During the boxing matches, you are stripped of all equipment and given a pair of boxing gloves to fight with, and any other attack will disqualify the PC. The boxing gloves deal very little damage, and the PC needs either good critical hits or dedicated damage perks to win. However, in the same city, you can find a pair of boxing gloves with plates slipped into the knuckles, allowing all but the last fight to be won by dealing hit point damage (it is possible for a character to be too weak in combat to do even that, but most such characters are disallowed from the boxing ring anyway).
  • October 19, 2012
    TonyG
    • In the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Hare Trimming", Bugs pretends to be a French gentlemen rival to Yosemite Sam for the love of a rich widow. Sam gives Bugs "a taste of leather" and Bugs responds in kind... but not before putting a brick inside the glove. After hitting Sam, he shakes out the pulverized remains.
    • In the Donald Duck cartoon "Canvas Back Duck", Donald's nephews put scraps of metal in his glove, but it only makes the glove too heavy to lift. His hand slips off and his fist accidentally hits the other fighter in the jaw. Fortunately, the opponent had a "glass jaw" and is out like a light.
    • On the Goofy cartoon "The Art of Self-Defense", two 18th Century dandies slap each other with gloves. During a break in the action, one of them sneaks his snuff box into his glove.
  • October 20, 2012
    dvorak
    One of the boxers in the remake of Punch Out has horseshoes in his gloves; this provides the picture for Trying To Catch Me Fighting Dirty.
  • October 21, 2012
    WeAreAllKosh
    Live-Action TV

    In an episode of Malcolm in the Middle, Dewey carries a purse (or man-handbag) to school and is bullied by other kids on the way home for doing so. But then he swings it at one of the kids, and whap!--turns out he put a brick inside it.
  • October 21, 2012
    StarSword
    Film:

  • October 21, 2012
    TitoMosquito
    Another Bugs Bunny short "Rabbit Punch" has the boxer and Bugs remove their gloves. When Bugs removed his, horseshoes fell out of them.
  • October 31, 2012
    dvorak
    • Played for laughs in one issue of Little Archie. Little Jughead gives Little Artchie a pair of lead weights while they're training for a boxing match; he instantly refuses, saying "That's cheaing." Jughead informs him that the weights are only for training purposes; when they take the weights out for the real fight, his punches will be harder. Mr. Weatherbee brings some of his colleauges to watch the pair train, and Archie's glove slips off and hits Weatherbee in his [Attack Its Weak Point Glass Jaw]]. The other teachers comment "wow, knocked out by an empty glove!"
  • October 31, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Interestingly, the point of a boxing glove is not to dampen the blow, it's to protect the hand. Hiding a horseshoe in your boxing glove would be just as likely to damage your fingers as your opponent's face.
  • November 2, 2012
    TwoGunAngel
    The aforementioned boxer from the Punch Out remake is Aran Ryan.
  • November 2, 2012
    foxley
    Happens in the Steampunk Halloween 2012 comic from Antarctic Press. A boxer fighting Dr Frankensteam's creation slips a horseshoe into his glove. However, the horseshoe shatters when her punches the monster.
  • December 27, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Subtrope of Boxing Episode.

    On MASH when Trapper is boxing the 8063's champion, they are going to put ether on Trap's glove. The idea is to shove the glove up near the other guy's nose during a clinch, knocking him out that way. Frank gets wind of the plan and, having bet on the other guy, replaces the ether with plain water.

    There was a Western I saw a bit of on TV years and years ago, don't know the title. The protagonist and another guy were involved in a boxing match (back in the bare knuckles days), and one had a bullet in his fist while the other had...something else, I don't remember.

    Related: In Professional Wrestling The Iron Sheik had a loaded boot. When he set his opponent up for the finisher, he'd shake his boot, causing all the lead pellets (or whatever was supposed to be in there) to collect at the tip of his boot, so a kick would knock his opponant unconsious.
  • December 27, 2012
    Onitatsu
    A variation with normal gloves:

    • In Rurouni Kenshin, Hannya, whose fighting style revolves around punching his enemies, hides iron knuckledusters in his otherwise normal looking gloves.
  • August 13, 2013
    HaggisMcCrablice
    Tiny Toon Adventures also used the "horseshoes-and-horse-in-the-glove" variant of the gag in "Citizen Max".
  • August 13, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    This can even happen with returning a Glove Slap, just to show who is "tougher" at accepting a challenge.
  • August 13, 2013
    DAN004
    No relation to (but compare) Tricked Out Gloves. Power Fist is a more "blatant" variant.
  • January 20, 2015
    jormis29
    • Examples section formatting
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
      • Namespaced and italicized work names.
      • Spelling, cheaing —> cheating, colleauges —> colleagues, charcter —> character
      • Added link to Antarctic Press
      • Changed link, Fallout 2 —> Fallout 2.

  • January 20, 2015
    Illemar
    Used in a pillow fight in Mahou Sensei Negima: obviously, the rules call for pillows to be used, but Rules Lawyer Yue figures that she can use heavy books to hit her opponents if she's hitting the pillows (with them underneath). She is a lot more blatant about this when they realise she's hiding books in her pillows.
  • January 20, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    Not a solid object per se but an additive to the boxing gloves nonetheless:

    Live Action TV
    • The episode "Requiem for a Lightweight" from MASH has Trapper agree to fight General Barker's goon to win back a pretty nurse. Knowing he'd be pummeled to jelly otherwise, Trapper allows Hawkeye to soak his boxing gloves in ether. By keeping his glove near his opponent's nose, Trapper exposes him to enough ether fumes to pass out in the ring, thus winning the match.
  • January 21, 2015
    KZN02
    May relate with Handbag Of Hurt if a dense object is hidden inside a handbag to be used offensively.
  • January 21, 2015
    DAN004
    Who manages this thing?
  • January 21, 2015
    jormis29
  • January 21, 2015
    DAN004
    Who wanna grab this before I do?
  • January 26, 2015
    AgProv
    Discworld: in Night Watch, Sam Vimes lays out Ronald Rust with this trick, then turns to his men, rubs his knuckles and says
    Important lesson, lads. It hurts, no matter what you do.
  • January 26, 2015
    Chabal2
    Legend Of Korra: In probending, waterbenders are the only ones allowed to use headshots due to the Soft Water trope. One of the ways the Wolfbats cheat is by adding rocks into their water missiles, which does more damage.
  • January 26, 2015
    Kartoonkid95
    • Tex Avery's Lonesome Lenny has a gag where the titular dog punches Screwy Squirrel with a hard boxing glove. Screwy then empties out four horseshoes...plus the horse.
  • January 27, 2015
    maxwellsilver
    • In Porky Pig's Feat, Daffy, having lost the money to pay his and Porky's hotel bill in a craps game, insults the hotel manager after refusing to pay. The manager slaps Daffy with his glove and challenges him to a duel ("You have insulted me! We meet on the field of honor! My Card"). Daffy then slips a horseshoe into a glove and imitates the challenge ("You have insult me! We meet on the field of onion!") and hits the manager with the glove, then slaps a piece of flypaper on his face ("My card, you cad!")

    Real Life
    • Sap gloves are leather or vinyl gloves with weights sewn into the knuckles. Their primary intention is to protect the wearer from injury, while the metal powder adds mass and thus kinetic energy to the punch. Properly executed, they can be used to punch through glass and concrete.
  • January 27, 2015
    maxwellsilver
    Suggestions for alternate names:

  • January 27, 2015
    zarpaulus
    Literature
  • January 27, 2015
    maxwellsilver
    This is why I think Sap Gloves or Weighted Gloves would be a better title than Horseshoe In The Glove. It covers a much wider range.
  • January 27, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ Technically Horseshoe In The Gloves is a name of an old trick. But yeah I'll go with Weighted Gloves.
  • January 27, 2015
    maxwellsilver
    Should it be put to a vote?

    And there's no reason one name can't be a redirect.
  • February 3, 2015
    maxwellsilver
    I'd say this is ready to be launched.
  • February 3, 2015
    jormis29
    ^ I would add the examples in the comments section first.
  • February 27, 2015
    DAN004
    Final bump.

    Needs indices
  • February 28, 2015
    Arivne
  • April 17, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    One more Looney Tunes example:

    Western Animation
    • The 1950 Friz Freleng cartoon "Stooge For A Mouse" has a hungry mouse load horseshoes into a boxing glove, then tie the glove onto Sylvester's hand while the cat naps. The mouse then uses a magnet below the floorboards to compel Sylvester to fly at a bulldog fist-first. Once the cat and dog have demolished each other, the mouse has a clear shot at the Cartoon Cheese.
  • August 12, 2015
    Chabal2
    A variation in Twilight Princess: in order to get into the Goron mines, you need to defeat their elder in a sumo match. The Gorons are twice Link's height and made of stone, so naturally he gets sent flying in a second. Link asks the only human ever to defeat a Goron in sumo wrestling, who reveals he used a little secret: massive weighted boots that allowed him to withstand the Goron's charge. The Gorons are very much against cheating, but they never notice you putting the boots on.
  • August 12, 2015
    shimaspawn
    ZC Es marked for clean-up or removal before launch.
  • August 13, 2015
    IronicMouse
    • Agents Of Shield has a Villain Of The Week who plays with this trope. Carl Creel (who comic book fans will know as the Absorbing Man) could change parts or all of his body into anything he touched. Before getting recruited by HYDRA, he was a boxer and would hide steel hands under his gloves.
  • August 22, 2015
    maxwellsilver
    Does anyone else think this is ready for launch?
  • August 22, 2015
    Berrenta
    ^ Looks ready to me. Though there are a couple ZCEs, this is good enough to launch. Besides, the ZCEs can always be expanded upon afterward.
  • August 22, 2015
    Sahira
    • In the Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries episode "Deadweight" Weighted Gloves are used against a young boxer in a local boxing ring until Constable Hugh Collins steps in and tells them to ditch them.
  • September 9, 2015
    AgProv
    Real Life
  • September 9, 2015
    Generality
    A variant seen often in Wuxia films is to wear metal rings around one's forearms to aid both defense and strikes. These can be hidden under sleeves or worn openly.

  • September 9, 2015
    eroock
    Film:
    • An early example can be found in the 1915 movie The Champion, where Charlie Chaplin finds a "good luck" horseshoe just as he passes a training camp advertising for a boxing partner "who can take a beating." After watching others lose badly, Charlie decides to enhance his chances of survival by sneaking the horseshoe into his right glove. Of course, he wins the fight.
      • Subverted in Chaplin's later film City Lights, which has a similar plot of the hero volunteering for a box fight to raise money. In the locker room he finds a horseshoe which he fiddles with but eventually dismisses and goes to fight without. We can only assume that Chaplin figured that people would have seen the previous horseshoe scene in The Champion and expected him to try the same trick again. This time he fools them by tossing it away.
  • September 10, 2015
    Tuckerscreator
    In By The Great Horn Spoon, which is set during the 1840s California Gold Rush, the butler Praiseworthy hides gold dust in his gloves to keep it from being found. Later their coach is robbed, and Praiseworthy socks one of the robbers several feet into the air with his gold-weighted gloves. As such he gets rumored around town to be an incredible fistfighter, and so starts studying boxing to keep up his reputation for the real fights.
  • September 10, 2015
    zarpaulus
    Webcomics
    • In Use Sword On Monster Hilda wears sap gloves, not really legal but useful for taking someone out without killing them. Especially seeing how as a "sword-swinger" the magic makes her fight on autopilot until her enemy is no longer a threat.
  • September 12, 2015
    maxwellsilver
    What does ZCE mean?
  • September 12, 2015
    randomsurfer
  • December 28, 2015
    DAN004
    Anything else this needs?
  • December 28, 2015
    CrypticMirror
    The Smallville episode "Jinx" reverses this as Clark plans to hide a piece of kryptonite in his football gloves to try to weaken himself so he can compete on a level footing. It doesn't work.
  • December 28, 2015
    Folamh3
    • The tragic case of Billy Collins v. Luis Resto. Before the match, Resto's trainer soaked Resto's hand wraps in plaster of Paris and removed the padding from his gloves, resulting in his punches hitting far harder than they would have otherwise. After an investigation, Resto was banned from boxing and spent several years in prison. Unfortunately, Resto's punches had been hard enough to cause brain damage in Collins which left him with permanently blurred vision, ending his boxing career and leading him to commit suicide.
  • December 29, 2015
    randomsurfer
    ^^^Fixing ZC Es; the Great Horn Spoon example is missing its bullet.
  • December 29, 2015
    Folamh3
    Removing the superfluous Real Life section marker.
  • February 18, 2016
    DAN004
    Bump because some ignorant tried to make a new ykttw about it
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=02ra48zv2y8l3djmfo3dsmad