AIBA Confirms "No Headgear For Male
Boxers" as changes announced to 'boost popularity' of the sport
by Michael O'Neill
March 22, 2013
(MAR 22) Back in 2011, A.I.B.A
President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, announced that the amateur sport’s
Governing Body was examining ways of making the sport more
attractive. Among the items under consideration were a new
scoring system, the introduction of AIBA Pro Boxing and also a
review of Rules and regulations including equipment used. Two
years earlier than that the International Olympic Committee had
approved the introduction of women’s boxing, which as we all
know, proved to be one of the great success stories of the XXX
Olympiad in London 2012.
Some of the proposed changes,
we have already told you about here on womenboxing.com -
yesterday in her U.S.A Boxing regular slot, Julie Goldsticker
told us that at the forthcoming U.S National Elite
Championships the women’s elite division will feature boxers in
the 19-40 age range.
Previously the age limit had been 34.
Confirmation today that the International Boxing Association (AIBA)
has unveiled its amended AIBA Technical Rules, AIBA Open Boxing
(AOB) Competition Rules and World Series of Boxing (WSB)
With the launch of the, AIBA Pro Boxing (APB) program in 2011,
AIBA now covers three major competition programs with AIBA Open
Boxing (AOB), World Series of Boxing (WSB) and APB.
The Association tells us that ‘’AIBA has now separated its
Technical Rules from the Competition Rules. All Technical
aspects within the sport of boxing will now remain constant for
all three AIBA programs. The Competition Rules, which can be
amended as required, will be separate for each of the three
programs in order to deliver clear guidelines for each
The key strategy of the amendments is to set integrated rules
for all three programs in regard to the Elite Men’s
Competitions. After extensive studies on the aspects of boxers’
safety, boxers will now not wear headguards for all Elite Men
competitions. This means that the AIBA World Boxing
Championships Almaty 2013 will be the first major International
event applying this new rule.
This decision has been made based on two statistical reviews by
the AIBA Medical Commission (more than 2,000 bouts studied) and
a study published by an independent physician-researcher in a
recent publication in the British Journal of Sports Medicine
(almost 30,000 bouts reviewed over the past 59 years). The AIBA
data was presented at a joint meeting of International
Federation Medical Commission Chairmen and the IOC Medical
Commission. All available data indicated that the removal of
headguards in Elite Men would result in a decreased number of
At its last meeting, the AIBA Medical Commission voted
unanimously to support the removal of headguards as a safety
measure for Elite Men Boxers.
Another important point is the launch of new scoring system. The
new system used across all programs will be based on the Ten
Point Must-System with five judges around the ring. Out of these
five judges, only the scores of three of them, which will be
randomly drawn by a computer, will be taken into account. Nobody
will know until the end of the bout which judges’ scores will
have been considered. In addition, scores will only be revealed
at the end of each bout.
“It is AIBA’s duty to bring the sport of boxing to the pinnacle
of the Olympic Movement and I am convinced that these changes
will critically contribute to the development of our beloved
sport”, stated Dr Ching-Kuo Wu, AIBA President. “Decisions have
not been made lightly and we will now put a lot of efforts in
educating our National Member Federations, our officials, boxers
and coaches, as well as boxing fans around the world”.
In an interview in the ‘Wall Street Journal’ earlier this week,
U.S Boxing President, Dr Charles Butler, himself a former
Physician and Surgeon was quoted thus : “Competitors do appear
to be at greater risk of cuts without headgear but concussion is
the injury of greater concern, Dr. Butler said.
"If you get a cut it will heal; if you break a bone it will
heal," Dr. Butler said. "If you can't recognize your
grandchildren, it's a disaster." Glove technology has improved
to help reduce the impact of blows, he added.
The WSJ feature also said that ‘to help determine whether it has
been beneficial, Dr. Butler studied boxers who competed in both
AIBA-sanctioned events with headgear and the World Series of
Boxing, which doesn't allow headgear.
After collecting data on some 15,000 boxer rounds, Dr. Butler
found that in the 7,352 rounds that took place with boxers
wearing headgear, the rate of concussion was 0.38%, compared
with 0.17% per boxer per round in the 7,545 rounds without
There is also much speculation that another possible change in
the Olympic boxing program is the expansion of the women’s
events from three divisions of 12 fighters each to six of eight.
In London 2012, women’s boxing was confined to three weight
categories – flyweight (48 to 5l kilograms), lightweight (57 to
60) and welterweight (69 to 75) but for now that remains no more
than a “wish”. It is worth bearing in mind though that Dr. Wu is
a highly-respected and influential IOC Executive Board member,
so it is quite likely that that the IOC will approve the AIBA’s
If you are looking to get the latest boxing odds for the
upcoming fight then make sure you check out the
site today. They have the latest odds for plenty of upcoming
And finally, the respected “Philippine Star” tells us in a
leading article that : ‘In a revolutionary step that could
change the global landscape of the fight game, International
Boxing Association (AIBA) president Dr. Wu Ching-Kuo said the
other day he is opening the doors of the Olympics to ring icons
like Manny Pacquiao with the age limit extended from 34 to 40
but to qualify, fighters must enlist in the soon-to-be-launched
AIBA Professional Boxing (APB) where they become exclusive
residents.”. According to ‘Philstar’ : “I hope to someday meet
with Congressman Pacquiao and explain AIBA’s vision,” said Dr.
Wu. “I would like to invite Congressman Pacquiao to join the APB
and become eligible to qualify for the Olympics. He would be a
rare exception. I wish to share AIBA’s dreams with Congressman
Pacquiao who in turn, if he believes it worthwhile, could
encourage fighters from all over the world to join in our
As the old saying goes – “Watch this space” !