The Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow, Scotland this year marked the beginning of new regulation in the sport of boxing. For the first time, athletes competed without the use of headgear.
The implications of allowing amateur fighters into the ring without the proper protection is being felt by the International Boxing Association.
As the first boxing matches began in the Commonwealth Games, athlete Mathew Martin of Nauru and Ireland’s Michael Conlan both had sustained facial damage.
Last year, the International Boxing Association decided to stop the use of headgear for male boxers. Studies from medical experts have reportedly called to remove headgear to help reduce concussions.
The IBA have reportedly cited studies that caution potential brain damage for longer periods of time as the reason why they decided to remove the use of protective headgear for the games.
It is worth noting that female fighters and younger boxers were still required to use protective headgear in their bouts.
The scoring system has also been modified for the Commonwealth Games by the IBA. A pro-style 10 point scoring system is in place now for the Commonwealth Games, the World Championships and the 2016 Olympics that will be held in Rio de Janeiro.
According to the coach of the Mozambique four-man boxing team, Harry Hawkins said: “An unlucky cut to the head might mean the best boxers don’t win.” He was a voice amongst many who were against the IBA decision to eliminate headgear.