Claressa Shields slams amateur boxing rule which makes women wear headgear

US boxer Claressa Shields

Claressa Shields has slammed a rule in amateur boxing which requires women to wear headgear during fights.

The International Boxing Association removed headguards from men’s amateur boxing in March 2013.

The decision was based on two separate studies which put forward evidence that the removal would decrease concussions. There were also suggestions that headgear impacted boxers’ vision.

Despite this, it was decided that women and male boxers below senior level would continue to wear headguards. This regulation also applies to boxing at the Olympic Games.

Shields lamented this decision while sharing a video from the USA Boxing International Invitational.

The clip shows a number of bouts, with the female boxers wearing headgear but the male boxers without.

“Tryna understand why do amateur boxing allow men to box without headgear but not the women,” Shields wrote on Twitter. “This is 2022!!!!!”.

Why was headgear introduced to boxing?

Headgear was introduced to boxing in the early 1980s, following the tragic death of South Korean boxer Kim Duk-koo in 1982.

Kim died due to injuries sustained during a boxing match against Ray Mancini.

But 30-years-later, two studies – once conducted by the IBA’s medical commission and the other carried out as independent research – supported the removal of headgear.

As the research largely looked at men’s boxing, it was claimed there was not enough evidence to revoke the regulation for female boxers.

US boxer Claressa Shields

Who is Claressa Shields?

Shields had an extremely successful career as an amateur boxer, winning two world titles and two Olympic gold medals in the middleweight division.

The only loss of her career came in an amateur fight against Savannah Marshall, who she is now set to meet at a professional level next month.

The fight between Marshall and Shields was supposed to take place at London’s O2 Arena earlier this month, but it was postponed after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

A provisional date of October 15th has now been put forward for the blockbuster clash.

Since turning professional in November 2016, Shields has also taken part in mixed martial arts fights in the Professional Fighters League.

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