Boxing Headguards

Head Guards

Is a head guard necessary for boxing?

When it comes to head guards in boxing, there is continuous debate about whether they help prevent head injuries or not. Still, there is no question that properly fitting headgear is an important piece of boxing equipment that certainly reduces the risk of cuts, bruises, scrapes and eye injuries. Do not feel that a head guard suddenly makes you immune to being knocked out though - it doesn't. Head guards offer no protection from the jarring effects of hard punches and it is vitally important that you are aware of this, otherwise headgear can give you a false sense of security, maybe leading you to deliberately take head punches rather than defend yourself properly. Head guards do not sufficiently protect your brain from the jarring that occurs when the head is struck with great force. Also, the prime target for most boxers is to aim for the chin of an opponent anyway, and the chin isn't usually well protected by a head guard. Receiving a power punch can do harm, and even a jab to the chin can cause damage, regardless of whether a head guard is being worn.

A good piece of head gear has to be comfortable and properly fitted, so that a punch would not move it and obstruct your vision. So always make sure that your head guard fits correctly and that the padding is still intact. Look after your head guard and your head guard will look after you. Try and buy quality head gear as it will take a lot of abuse, so you want something that is not going to start falling apart after a few weeks.

In the boxing gym, fighters often wear 'ultra protective' head gear much of the time. If you are an amateur fighter and have a boxing match looming, it's a good idea to alter your head guard and start using 'competition head gear' when sparring in the gym, for maybe a week or so before the fight. Competition head guards cover less of the face, so changing them gives you a chance to get used to having less face protection before climbing between the ropes again for real.


The International Amateur Boxing Association confirmed towards the end of 2013 that headguards will no longer be worn by 'senior men' in amateur boxing. Headguards will still be worn by all women boxer's, all male boxer's below the 'senior' level and children. That decision was based on several seperate medical studies that provided evidence that the removal of headguards amongst the senior male amateur boxer's will help reduce the cases of concussion.

Headguards do offer some protection from cuts and bruises, but as i said earlier, they offer no protection at all to the head jarring that can cause knockout. The major downside of Headguards is that they also cut down on your peripheral vision, which can make it more difficult to see some punches that are coming your way, until it's too late. The IABA limited the removal of headgear to senior male amateurs as the punches are more powerful at that level, therefore that's the level where most cases of concussions occur.

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