The IOC has officially taken note of the technical decision of AIBA to remove the headguards for male competitions at the Olympic Games. It has also confirmed that the technical rules of the competitions fall under the remit of each International Federation. The IOC Executive Board has been following AIBA’s recommendation meaning that the men’s competition will be organised without headguards for the first time since Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games.
“We are profoundly pleased that there will be no headguard for male boxers in Rio. It is something that has been expected by our boxers and by the boxing fans the world over. Since our very first conversations with athletes and medical staff on the issue we have been investigating the possibility of removing headguards and both our statistical research, and the feedback from boxers and coaches, shows us that this is the best outcome for our sport. It is undoubtedly a great achievement for AIBA to present our boxers without headguards at the next Olympic Games, the most important sporting event“ added AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu.
AIBA’s research into a change in the rules has centred around the 2013 World Championships in Almaty, the first in 30 years where the boxers were without headguards. The Association’s Medical Commission has studied more than 11,000 bouts in major boxing competitions and the number of concussions showed a significant drop of 43% from 2013 to 2015. At last year’s World Championships in Doha, no concussions were recorded.
As part of AIBA’s commitment to put boxers first, the HeadsUp campaign was launched in 2015 in particular to encourage the boxers to adopt a better stance, a more upright style in the ring. The initiative also focuses on protecting and extending the career paths of boxers in and out of the ring in all corners of the globe.