Professional scoring system and no protective headgear ushers in new era.
Boxers at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the world championships later this year will adopt the professional 10-point scoring system and do away with headgear.
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced sweeping reforms for male boxers this week as they seek to make the sport more appealing for athletes looking to make the sport a career.
The arm of boxing formally dubbed ‘amateur’ will use the judge-based scoring system more commonly recognisable with fans of the sport replacing the punch-count which was in place at Olympic level since 1988.
The former scoring system brought with it controversy, most notably in 1988 when Roy Jones Jnr was robbed of the gold medal after landing 86 punches compared to his South Korean opponent’ss 32 only to be awarded the silver.
The biggest talking point out of the reforms is the cancelled use of headgear which chairman of AIBA’s medical commission Charles Butler believes will actually reduce head injuries.
“There’s no evidence protective gear shows a reduction in incidence of concussion,” Butler said.
“In 1982, when the American Medical Association moved to ban boxing, everybody panicked and put headgear on the boxers, but nobody ever looked to see what the headgear did.”
Headgear had been in use for eight straight Olympic Games, however, some officials in the sport believe they do more harm than good by allowing fighters to continue long after when they would have sustained fight-ending injuries.
Also due to the bulky nature of the padding, the peripheral vision of the fighter can be impaired allowing them to be struck by blows which they cannot protect themselves from.
The reforms only apply to male boxers with females and juniors still required to wear the headgear as a matter of extra safety.