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WBC president wants headgear reinstated in Olympic boxing

Mauricio Sulaiman is calling for AIBA to bring headgear back to Olympic boxing after the Rio games.

Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman is calling on AIBA to reinstate headgear in the Olympics after watching what transpired in the Rio de Janiero games, reports the LA Times. Sulaiman cites the number of facial cuts that occurred during the Olympics which highlights his concerns.

"Having the headgear removed was a very dangerous and risky decision, and I was proved [correct] that it was a terrible situation, with the number of cuts," Sulaiman told The Times in a telephone conversation from his Mexico City office.

In particular, Russian bantamweight Vladimir Nikitin had to pull out of his semifinal match against Shakur Stevenson due to multiple facial cuts he received in the quarterfinals. His withdrawal effectively gave Stevenson a bye into the gold medal match.

But Sulaiman also points out dramatic inconsistencies in AIBA's policies, as only the men had headgear removed from competition, while the women competed with them.

"[AIBA didn't] report cuts went up [significantly]. Head guards have been a protection [since 1984]," Sulaiman said. "Kids need to fight with headgear. Female fighters did. There's so much inconsistency, everything's so confusing. They just came out and made decisions without doing the thorough research that merits these decisions.

"With multiple fights in a short period of time [during the Olympics], cuts can cause the fighters to be out of the competition."

So although Sulaiman expects to press the issue of headgear with AIBA, he really has no authority over the organization, and thus isn't sure if they will even be willing to communicate with him on the subject. And in truth, they most likely will not.

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