Increased distance was also significant due to another major difference between modern boxing and bare-knuckle pugilism—grappling. Grappling was a staple of the earlier fighting style and played a major role in ending rounds. Unlike today, rounds were not timed, and lasted until one of the combatants hit the floor (KO’s were not common). One way to drop an opponent was to close, grapple, and throw him – trying to do severe damage with the throw. Grappling is difficult to do while wearing gloves. Other techniques included putting an opponent in chancery (a headlock), and landing blows until he yielded.
When the Queensbury rules made wearing the gloves mandatory, they also established timed rounds and disallowed grappling. Therefore, combatants no longer needed to worry about avoiding the throw, and could afford to come in close to deliver blows that were more powerful, such as the hook and uppercut.
Gloves also made certain disreputable techniques impossible. One such technique was gouging, using one’s fingers to injure the opponent’s eyes. Despite gouging being outlawed even prior to the Queensbury rules, it was still sometimes practiced. Another such move, although perfectly legal up until the Queensbury rules, was that of holding an opponent by the hair and beating him until he could no longer fight, as was the case when Gentleman John Jackson severely punished Daniel Mendoza in their 1795 prizefight. These techniques are not possible while wearing gloves; however, thumbing was still a problem.