Boxing News


by USA Boxing

TULSA, Okla. May 14, 2024 – Golden Gloves VR, a virtual reality boxing game created by Tulsa-based tech company Engine Room VR, is the official esports boxing game of USA Boxing, the governing body for Olympic-style boxing, Mike McAtee, USA Boxing Executive Director, announced today. Under a partnership agreement that extends through 2028, the organizations will explore the application of virtual boxing for adaptive, fitness and competition boxing.

Esports are enormously popular and have experienced exponential growth over the last decade. The value of the Global Esports Market is projected to reach $2,396.9 million by the end of 2024. In 2021, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) embraced a dedicated agenda for nurturing virtual sports and engaging with gaming communities. Last year, the IOC established the Olympic Esports Series, with the first event held in Singapore.

“The 2024 Olympic Games in Paris represent the 120th year that the sport of Olympic-style boxing has been a part of the Olympics,” says McAtee. “Esports is such a rapidly growing area with huge potential. We believe it’s important to explore this space and the possibilities it holds for the future of Olympic-style boxing. Our coaches see the potential for this as a training tool for their boxers, as well as an avenue to expand the reach of our sport in so many other areas, such as adaptive sports, esports competitions, and fitness boxing.”

Golden Gloves VR has completed closed alpha testing of multi-player/PVP, a game feature that allows two human players to compete via their avatars in the same virtual game environment. Open beta testing will be available in the game beginning June 1. Amateur boxers from across the world, including members of the 2024 USA Boxing Olympic Team, had the opportunity to demo the game and the multiplayer feature at the 2024 USA Boxing International Invitational and World Boxing Cup in Pueblo, CO in April. 

“USA Boxing and Golden Gloves VR will be establishing an official ranking system for e-boxers based on online game play and tournaments,” says Aaron Sloan, a USA Boxing certified coach and owner of Engine Room VR. “Qualifying players will be invited to compete at USA Boxing National Championships and at Golden Gloves of America’s National Tournament of Champions right alongside our real-world boxers. Our e-boxers will box live in virtual reality and be awarded their own rankings and titles.”


USA Boxing is the National Governing Body for Olympic-style boxing in the United States. USAB is a non-profit corporation and a member of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. Responsible for training, competition and development for its sport, as well as nominating athletes to the U.S. Olympic, Youth Olympic, and Pan American Teams, USAB is also recognized by World Boxing as the national federation responsible for the governance of the sport of Olympic-style boxing in the United States. With over 60,000 members, including athletes, coaches, officials, physicians and administrators, USA Boxing sanctions all Olympic-style boxing competition in the United States. 


National Golden Gloves began in 1923 when Chicago Tribune Sports Editor Arch Ward conceived the idea of a newspaper sponsored citywide amateur boxing tournament. Champions were awarded a miniature golden glove. Many great professional boxers have launched their early athletic careers participating as amateurs in Golden Gloves tournaments. Golden Gloves continues to play a major role in the selection of representatives for the U.S. team in the Olympic Games. Former National Golden Gloves champions include outstanding boxers like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya, Mike Tyson, and Richard Torrez Jr.


Golden Gloves VR was designed by Tulsa-based tech company Engine Room VR for Meta Quest virtual reality headsetsEndorsed by Golden Gloves of America, a world-renowned name in amateur boxing, GGVR was developed in consultation with professional and amateur boxers and coaches to provide a realistic, immersive and progressive boxing experience where players can train and compete in a variety of virtual settings. 


The Engine Room Boxing Gym at 316 E. 11th Street is owned and operated by Aaron Sloan, a registered cardiac nurse, President of the Kansas-Oklahoma Golden Gloves franchise, and a USA Boxing-certified coach, judge and referee. The Engine Room offers competition and fitness training, as well as the Ready to Fight Parkinson’s Specific program. Developed by Coach Sloan in 2016, RTF is now the official therapy-boxing program of USA Boxing.

Photos by Mark Bennett