Head guards in boxing are used to protect a fighters face and head from injury. Head guards were first introduced into Amateur Boxing in 1984. However in 2013, the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA), controversially, made the decision to remove head guards from international competitions such as the Olympics. Studies had indicated that head guards were not having the desired effect in terms of concussions and brain damage. These studies concluded that head guards provide a larger target to hit therefore receiving more blows to the head and; that head guards provide fighters with a false sense of security, thereby getting hit more than they otherwise would be. The study found that since head guards were removed from international competitions in 2013 the number of times a fight had been stopped from repeated blows to the head fell by 43% compared to the years previous. However, some believe the number of head injuries with and without head guards was already too small to suggest a statistically significant difference 🤯
On the other hand, since the removal of head guards, the number of facial cuts and lacerations has seen a sharp rise 🤕
Many believe that the removal of head guards from international competitions was done so in attempt to make the sport more appealing to fans. This is at the expense of young, talented fighters health and well-being. Since, if a fighter in a competition suffers a serious cut, they may well be eliminated from the tournament due to the Doctor deeming the cut too serious to continue in the tournament🥊
I personally think the risk of serious cuts and lacerations to the face of young boys during a competition is too high and is not worth the trade off in favour of fan appeal and the, somewhat insignificant, reduced numbers of head injury.
However, greater experience and exposure to fighting without a head guard has allowed teams and fighters to shift their strategy in the ring so as to reduce the risk of cuts🏆
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