With world boxing championships in focus, head guards return to India men’s nationals

Winners from the national boxing meet will make the cut for the world championships next month. Olympians, including Amit Panghal, are expected to participate.

By Ubaid Parkar
Picture by IOC/John Huet

Boxers competing in India’s senior men’s national championships next week will have to wear protective headgear to reduce the risk of cuts ahead of the world championships  late in October.

Introduced in 1984, head guards were discontinued in men's events held by the Olympics and the International Boxing Association (AIBA) from 2013. According to a study, the padding around the face limits vision, leading a boxer to suffer more head blows and therefore, injuries. 

However, the absence of head guards leads to an increased rate of cuts.

Satish Kumar and Vikas Krishan each suffered a cut during their respective opening round bouts at the Tokyo Olympics. In May, London 2012 Olympian Sumit Sangwan sustained a cut in his opening round loss at the Asian boxing championships in Dubai.

National boxing associations are allowed to have their boxers use protective headgear.

The week-long men’s senior national championships starts on September 15 at the Inspire Institute of Sports in Bellary, Karnataka. The winners from the event will make the cut for the world championships that starts on October 26 in Belgrade, Serbia.

The Indian team for the world championships will be finalised after trials conducted right after the nationals.

Boxers who competed in the Tokyo Olympics - Amit Panghal, Manish Kaushik, Ashish Chaudhary and Satish Kumar - are expected to take part in the national championship. Vikas Krishan, however, has been sidelined following a shoulder surgery.

There are 13 weight categories in the national competition. The draw will be held on September 14.

COVID-19 protocols will be followed during the event. The boxing nationals were not held last year due to the pandemic.