Wednesday, March 2, 2016 10:25 am
By Taiwo Adelu
Male boxers competing at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will not wear headguards for the first time in 36 years after a proposal by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) was approved on Tuesday.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) endorsed a decision originally taken by AIBA’s Executive Committee following London 2012 to unanimously end the use of headguards in all of their elite men’s competitions.
AIBA’s Medical Commission’s claim to have studied 11,000 bouts around the world, producing several scientific studies that it is actually safer for boxers to compete without headguards then with them.
Headguards have been worn at every Olympic Games since Los Angeles 1984 but were scrapped for the 2013 World Championships in Almaty.
AIBA claimed afterwards that there was a decrease in the number of concussions compared to the 2011 edition of the Championships in Baku.
The rubber-stamping of the AIBA’s decision was contained in the report of the IOC Medical Commission presented to the Executive Board by Turkey’s Uğur Erdener, a qualified doctor.
He said it was up to AIBA to make the rules for their own sport.
Women, who only made their debut in Olympic boxing at London 2012, will still wear headguards in Rio de Janeiro.
A HeadsUp campaign was also launched at last October’s World Boxing Championships in Doha in order to train boxers to maintain a “heads-up” stance to help prevent concussions and cuts, based upon the four pillars of health, education, sport and sustainability.
Coaches are being trained to help educate boxers to go into bouts not with the correct stance and with the right mind-set, which is claimed will ultimately change the behaviour of boxers leading with the head that came with the psychological protection of guards.