The referee says it every time he finishes his pre-fight instructions. It is SO important to a fighter’s safety and success that it has become a standard phrase in boxing. It says exactly what it means and, yet is too often ignored. Unfortunately, it seems like many fighters have grown deaf to this common phrase, so let’s recap exactly what the third man in the ring means when he says PROTECT YOURSELF AT ALL TIMES.
First of all, if you are the fighter, don’t touch gloves. Except when the referee tells you to after, the pre-fight instructions are complete, and right before the final round, keep your gloves to yourself.