League attempts a makeover for boxing

09:07, April 16, 2010      

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The ugliness of a boxer getting punched square in the head will get a little more clearer for spectators of the inaugural China League of Boxing season.

Transparent helmets will be used in the new league that kicks off on April 27 in Beijing. Boxers will also be required to use a vest and thicker gloves, standards in amateur boxing. It will be a first in the sport's history for boxers to don transparent helmets. League officials say it will improve the appreciation of the sport.

Chang Jianping, the boxing chief in China and vice chairman of the International Amateur Boxing Association, expects the newly designed device to not only benefit the domestic league, but also better promote amateur boxing and other sports worldwide that use headgear.

"Some people say that amateur boxing is not as attractive as professional competition, which is more fierce. So we invented the transparent helmet, allowing the spectators to recognize each boxer and even see their expressions without giving up protection for the athletes," Chang said.

"I believe the fans will find it interesting and creative. If it works very well, we will try to apply it to international events and even other sports with helmets, like tae kwon do."

Six squads will participate in the league's team competition, which features matches of five classes. The top two players of each class will also fight for the individual championship.

Zou Shiming, gold medalist of the 46kg class at the 2008 Olympic Games, and Zhang Xiaoping, winner of the +91kg class, will both participate in the league, playing for the Guizhou-Shanghai United team and the Inner Mongolia team, respectively.

The league also marks the seventh league in China, after soccer, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, badminton and baseball.

Source:China Daily

(Editor:intern1)

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