For the first time since 1984, male boxers will compete with each other at the 2016 Rio Olympics without headgear. The announcement followed after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) endorsed the decision.
"We are profoundly pleased that there will be no headguard for male boxers in Rio. It is something that has been expected by our boxers and by the boxing fans the world over," said AIBA president Dr Ching-Kuo Wu. "Since our very first conversations with athletes and medical staff on the issue, we have been investigating the possibility of removing headguards."
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) had changed the rules during the 2013 world championships in Almaty, however the change will not apply to female fighters who will still be required to wear the headgear. It has been found that there has been a 43% drop in the number of concussions since the rule change.
"Both our statistical research, and the feedback from boxers and coaches, shows us that this is the best outcome for our sport," said Dr Wu. In other news from the Rio Olympics, Manny Pacquiao has said that it would be "an honour" for him to compete for Philippines at the Olympics. According to reports, Dr Wu has also proposed a rule change that will allow professional fighters to compete in the Rio games.
"It would be my honour to represent the country in the Olympics," Pacquiao told AFP News. "If I would be asked to represent boxing, why not? I would do everything for my country." Dr. Wu's proposition will be voted on in May by the International Boxing Association. The proposition, which Dr Wu has termed "absolutely possible" has faced widespread commendation from the professional boxing world, including former Olympics and world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis and current World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman.