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Thread: Do Boxers Still Soak Their Skin in Brine ?

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  1. #1
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    Do Boxers Still Soak Their Skin in Brine ?

    This isn't a rhetorical question. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I actually don't know.

    During the early days of gloved boxing, it was standard to soak one's face and hands in brine after a workout. Most fighters used only a simple solution of salt and water, but Jack Dempsey reportedly favored beef brine. His ruddy complexion was attributed to it. The brine supposedly toughened the skin and made a boxer less susceptible to cuts.

    I have this vision of a boxer walking into a kosher deli and soaking his head in a barrel of pickles. Pass this suggestion along to Chris Algieri.

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    Re: Do Boxers Still Soak Their Skin in Brine ?

    I will let someone else go first, but then I will kill it. The actuality and reality of da game are surrounded by bodyguards of myths. Sort of like the late, great Willie Pep winning rounds without "landing" punches. The last thing that you want in boxing is "toughened skin."

    You want your skin to be loosey-goosey and soft like density mattress foam, so it won't badly chap, bruise or bust open. Holla!

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    Re: Do Boxers Still Soak Their Skin in Brine ?

    I have not heard of fighters doing that in many years...decades, in fact. There is nothing which can be done to "harden" the skin, making them more resistent to cuts. What usually causes the cuts is the skin slamming against the underlying bone of the eye socket.

    Eat the pickles, instead.

    -Randy G.

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    Re: Do Boxers Still Soak Their Skin in Brine ?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Commish View Post
    I have not heard of fighters doing that in many years...decades, in fact. There is nothing which can be done to "harden" the skin, making them more resistent to cuts. What usually causes the cuts is the skin slamming against the underlying bone of the eye socket.

    Eat the pickles, instead.

    -Randy G.
    One thing for sure is a proper diet deceases the chances of getting sliced and diced up because thick in the collagen -- glue that holds the body together -- keeps the skin moist, loosey-goosey and like bamboo. It bends, but is hard to crack, break or tear apart.

    So much old skool maintenance and making right of da game have been lost to myths, lies and New Jack tries.

    Toughening or hardening of the skin is a bunch of crap. Unless you mean it in a figure of speech way not to be easily cut, bust open and bruise. And you stop that from happening by softing of skin.

    Like your feet, you want the skin on them soft. No bunions, corns, warts, scaling or cracking, etc., etc.

    Soft, moist skin doesn't crack or open because of the super glue of good, strong collagen.

    Ask the fighters -- like Tim Witherspoon and B-Hop -- who have a lot of it. How often have they been cut? Holla!

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    Re: Do Boxers Still Soak Their Skin in Brine ?

    I've seen petrol used to toughen skin and bone. But brine in recent times is far from it. There is more information these days. Easily accessible, which will teach a fighter what his body needs to become strong and in top condition.

    The info is at every fighters disposal. To seek it is a decision they must make themselves.

    Or you could just ask RG...

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    Re: Do Boxers Still Soak Their Skin in Brine ?

    I distinctly remember Sugar Ray Leonard discussing the topic when he was asked about why he seemed resistant to cuts
    He said that soaking in salt water toughened the skin during an interview to publicize the Benitez fight.
    Ray also said he soaked his hands in water containing slices of oranges as a remedy for swollen knuckles.
    I had a mental image of him using an old oak barrel the way he described it.

    At the time of the discussion Leonard was driving his hand into a bucket of sand to harden his knuckles.

    Of course we could only watch in awe while we pondered privately where we could conveniently find a bucket of sand.

    Leonard was full of tips for aspiring boxers which served to elevated his mystique to mythic proportions.

    Duran also mentioned the brine treatment.
    But didn't say if he used the time honored technique or not.

    Personally I've spent a lot of time swimming in saltwater but don't recall having enhanced cut resistant skin.

    You don't hear discussions about the subject too much these days... anymore than you hear about boxers pounding slabs of beef ribs in a walk in freezer like Joe Frazier did.
    It seems that many of the antiquated ways of boxing have been discarded in favor of more scientific methods.

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    Re: Do Boxers Still Soak Their Skin in Brine ?

    Quote Originally Posted by brownsugar View Post
    I distinctly remember Sugar Ray Leonard discussing the topic when he was asked about why he seemed resistant to cuts
    He said that soaking in salt water toughened the skin during an interview to publicize the Benitez fight.
    Ray also said he soaked his hands in water containing slices of oranges as a remedy for swollen knuckles.
    I had a mental image of him using an old oak barrel the way he described it.

    At the time of the discussion Leonard was driving his hand into a bucket of sand to harden his knuckles.

    Of course we could only watch in awe while we pondered privately where we could conveniently find a bucket of sand.

    Leonard was full of tips for aspiring boxers which served to elevated his mystique to mythic proportions.

    Duran also mentioned the brine treatment.
    But didn't say if he used the time honored technique or not.

    Personally I've spent a lot of time swimming in saltwater but don't recall having enhanced cut resistant skin.

    You don't hear discussions about the subject too much these days... anymore than you hear about boxers pounding slabs of beef ribs in a walk in freezer like Joe Frazier did.
    It seems that many of the antiquated ways of boxing have been discarded in favor of more scientific methods.
    Sorry, B-Sug! But SRL and Duran were doing sideshow phony jive for getting-those-butts-in-the-seats promotions. Nowadays the U.S. Gov federal communication overseers don't allow that type of jive on public or cable TV without disclaimers.

    Ray got medical shots for his swollen knuckles. Read his autobiography. And look at old footages and interviews. He has long forgotten his active boxing years of telling white lies and bulljiving for promotion and convenience.

    Go shake a top P4P boxer's hand. It will be softer than a new-born-baby's arse.

    Saltwater dries up your skin. Dried-up skin cuts wide da double fudge open. Saltwater for hardening or toughening live-human skin is a darn L-I-E. That salt water -- actually salt mixed in water -- is boxing tales borrowed and exaggerated from ancient Egypt legends and myths and funeral parlors of using salt water to toughen and/or harden the skin of mummies/corpses/cadavers. (OMFG! The first proof of pugilism is 3000 B.C. in Ancient Egypt where they made the pugs fight naked, according to the AIBA.)

    No boxer has been that naive or pure stupid to use or believe salt water myths. The old timers gave dried-skinned pugs cocoa butter to soften up their "alligator skin" and told their arses to drink some water.

    When it is said that you have to have tough skin and/or you can't have thin skin in boxing, it is referring to your psyche for mental and psychological toughness, not skin or even bones.

    FYI, a lot of boxers get prescriptions of lotion to soften dried skin on their paws. The ability to keep your skin moisturized is what keep it from busting and tearing open.

    C'mon, Commish! WHADDUP! You have the hook ups, look ups and book ups with the skin doctors. And the brain doctors. So you know what time it is: Reality and actuality, not fantasy. Holla!
    Last edited by Radam G; 07-21-2014 at 01:48 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Do Boxers Still Soak Their Skin in Brine ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radam G View Post
    Sorry, B-Sug! But SRL and Duran were doing sideshow phony jive for getting-those-butts-in-the-seats promotions. Nowadays the U.S. Gov federal communication overseers don't allow that type of jive on public or cable TV without disclaimers.

    Ray got medical shots for his swollen knuckles. Read his autobiography. And look at old footages and interviews. He has long forgotten his active boxing years of telling white lies and bulljiving for promotion and convenience.

    Go shake a top P4P boxer's hand. It will be softer than a new-born-baby's arse.

    Saltwater dries up your skin. Dried-up skin cuts wide da double fudge open. Saltwater for hardening or toughening live-human skin is a darn L-I-E. That salt water -- actually salt mixed in water -- is boxing tales borrowed and exaggerated from ancient Egypt legends and myths and funeral parlors of using salt water to toughen and/or harden the skin of mummies/corpses/cadavers. (OMFG! The first proof of pugilism is 3000 B.C. in Ancient Egypt where they made the pugs fight naked, according to the AIBA.)

    No boxer has been that naive or pure stupid to use or believe salt water myths. The old timers gave dried-skinned pugs cocoa butter to soften up their "alligator skin" and told their arses to drink some water.

    When it is said that you have to have tough skin and/or you can't have thin skin in boxing, it is referring to your psyche for mental and psychological toughness, not skin or even bones.

    FYI, a lot of boxers get prescriptions of lotion to soften dried skin on their paws. The ability to keep your skin moisturized is what keep it from busting and tearing open.

    C'mon, Commish! WHADDUP! You have the hook ups, look ups and book ups with the skin doctors. And the brain doctors. So you know what time it is: Reality and actuality, not fantasy. Holla!
    I cannot argue the efficacy of brine as a method for toughening skin RG.
    Just stating what I've heard.

    After a search on Google there are many references regarding Jack Dempsey using beef brine for toughening skin and horse urine to toughen his fists. There are also references pertaining to bare knucklers using the treatment during John L's time.

    For the record a lotion popular for treating rough hands and targeting it's customers in the large pool of manual laborers at the time called "Corn Huskers" didn't have a drop of salt in it.

    In fact I haven't seen any commercial lotions that contain salt or many that contain vitamin C.
    But you can find all manner of ingredients in household shampoo.

    It would be interesting to discover the origin of its use... and whether it actually had medicinal properties or if it was just a placebo provided by trainers to make their fighter feel like they had an edge.

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    Re: Do Boxers Still Soak Their Skin in Brine ?

    Quote Originally Posted by brownsugar View Post
    I cannot argue the efficacy of brine as a method for toughening skin RG.
    Just stating what I've heard.

    After a search on Google there are many references regarding Jack Dempsey using beef brine for toughening skin and horse urine to toughen his fists. There are also references pertaining to bare knucklers using the treatment during John L's time.

    For the record a lotion popular for treating rough hands and targeting it's customers in the large pool of manual laborers at the time called "Corn Huskers" didn't have a drop of salt in it.

    In fact I haven't seen any commercial lotions that contain salt or many that contain vitamin C.
    But you can find all manner of ingredients in household shampoo.

    It would be interesting to discover the origin of its use... and whether it actually had medicinal properties or if it was just a placebo provided by trainers to make their fighter feel like they had an edge.
    Myths also claimed that William Harrison (Jack) Dempsey used horse shoes in his gloves. Hehehe! The heck with the horsey's p¡$$, Ol' Jack wanted the lucky horse shoes. He beat @$$£$ with those bad boys. Holla!

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    Re: Do Boxers Still Soak Their Skin in Brine ?

    While they don't, they should. Last fighter I knew that did was Vito Antuofermo, who knew a thing or two about cuts and blood.

    Like Rad said, you want soft skin, not tough. What I think you meant was to make it tough(er) to get cut. And yes it works.

    And for the record I score defense, (Albeit I may be the last human being on this planet doing so) so yeah, if you spent one hundred and eighty seconds making a guy miss you wouldn't need to throw any punches to win the round. But don't try this at home. I am a trained professional in a world of appointees who are most often completely clueless to what they are actually witnessing.

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