Headgear to make a comeback in men's domestic boxing tourneys

High performance director Santiago Nieva sounded concerned about the boxers who were getting cuts due to the absence of the protective gear.

According to Santiago Nieva, the headgear would make a comeback for elite men at international level, too, sooner rather than later.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Keeping in mind the boxers’ safety, headgear is likely to make a comeback in elite men’s domestic competitions.

High performance director Santiago Nieva sounded concerned about the boxers who were getting cuts due to the absence of the protective gear.

“Definitely, that is one issue I will raise after this competition and make sure that the headgear is back. It’s dangerous and we have to think about the health of our boxers. We have boxers in the camp who have got cuts, which they had to stitch 10-12 times in three-four years. It’s not good for their boxing career and even after their career,” Nieva told Sportstar at the National Boxing Championships here.

'Not possible to continue like this'

According to Nieva, the headgear would make a comeback for elite men at international level, too, sooner rather than later. “At domestic level it has happened in many countries. They have come back to competing with headgear. Even in small international events boxers are competing with headgear. Hopefully, at the Olympics or after Olympics we will get back with headgear. It is not possible to continue like this.”

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About Indians’ road to Olympic qualifiers, Nieva said the boxers would be exposed to various competitions at home and abroad. “The selection trials for the Asian qualifier (in Wuhan in February) will be held on December 29 and 30. We will bring some foreign teams to India. We will invite five-six teams to come and train with us to get some good sparring ahead of the Asian qualifier.”

Amit Panghal (52kg) and Manish Kaushik (63kg), who secured medals in the World Championships last month, have already qualified for the Wuhan event. Nieva expected tough competition in the six remaining weights — 57kg, 69kg, 75kg, 81kg, 91kg and +91kg — for which trials would be held.