Beards are permitted in professional boxing, with the restriction that they be clipped to a particular length. The Boxing Board of Control regulations stipulate that a fighter's jawline must be seen during a bout, therefore facial hair isn't entirely forbidden. However, any fighter who wants to compete at this level will need to get rid of their beard if they don't want their face violated.
In amateur boxing, beards are prohibited because the risk of injury is too great. Even though judges look at photos of the fighters before each match, an opponent can make enough contact with his chin to cause serious damage without being disqualified.
In addition, beards pose a health risk due to the presence of bacteria and other organisms on their surface. This leads to the possibility of contracting infections such as tuberculosis or hepatitis B. Professional boxers know these risks and choose to bear them for the reward of making a living.
Finally, beards take up time in the training camp that could be used to work on punching power or defense skills. Since professionals are only paid based on how many rounds they last, it's important for them to use their time wisely.
Overall, beards are acceptable in professional boxing but not in amateur sports where health and safety are more important.
"A similar regulation was deleted a long time ago," stated general secretary Robert Smith. "Lifting it was simply logical and common sense." While professional boxers may participate with facial hair, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) forbids boxers from competing with beards or moustaches. The rule is in place to ensure that low-level boxers do not suffer injury by taking part in an event without having shaved their faces.
In fact, the first recorded case of a boxer being disqualified for sporting a beard occurred at the 1904 Olympics when Frank Wieter refused to shave off his handlebar moustache before taking on American Charles Lindbergh for the gold medal in boxing. Wieter was disqualified and lost by default. The last person to lose a fight because he had no choice but to wear a mask was James J. Corbett in 1892. He was defeated by Tommy Burns after three rounds.
Beard and moustache growth is primarily a matter of personal preference. Some boxers prefer the look of a clean-shaven face while others find it easier to land punches with a full head of hair. The majority of top fighters are well aware of the IOC prohibition yet continue to wear beards and moustaches anyway. They do so to make themselves look more aggressive and intimidating during fights.
There have been several high-profile cases of boxers being banned because they failed drug tests.
The prohibition on beards was imposed for reasons of health and safety, since England Boxing (formerly the Amateur Boxing Association of England) believed that facial hair may cause issues. A boxer's beard entering an opponent's eye or an open cut was noted as a potential hazard. Also, some people with medical conditions such as cancer or alopecia can't be trained if their beard interferes with the headgear they wear during workouts.
In modern boxing, beards are allowed provided they do not interfere with the fighter's ability to wear protective gear. England Boxing now permits beards as long as they do not affect the wearer's ability to compete.
All other forms of body modification are prohibited including tattoos, piercings, and even hair coloring/styleting. The goal is to enable athletes to compete without altering the appearance of their skin or wearing t-shirts instead of shirts. This keeps the focus on skill rather than physique. In fact, all boxers must wear snugly fitted shorts and a tight-fitting singlet under their trunks. These items have vents which allow for air circulation while still providing support where it is needed most.
There have been cases in the past where boxers have had problems with their faces being hurt due to heavy blows delivered by opponents. However, this doesn't happen very often because modern boxers take great care not to land face shots.
Find out more about sharing. Bearded amateur boxers in England will be able to participate without needing to shave their beards after the governing body decided to change a long-standing restriction. Fighters were once expected to be clean shaved, in part so that wounds to the face could be seen. But now BEIB (the British Elite Institute of Boxing) says men with beards can compete against each other so long as they keep them under control. President Mark Rowland said: "We believe this is another step forward for beard boxing in Britain and we're sure fans will enjoy seeing these competitive bouts."
Beard boxing has become popular recently, with several events being held across Europe and America. This decision by the British boxing authority should help boost interest further. It's worth mentioning that some states in the United States forbid athletes from shaving their faces before competitions because it gives them an unfair advantage. However, this rule does not apply to beard boxing since there are no such competitions in those states.
England's first bearded boxer was George Chillingworth who competed in 1829. He was professional but also trained at home games for Oxford University. The 21-year-old fought four matches in total and all of them ended in defeat.
Since then, only two other bearded boxers have been documented by history. One of them was Charles Green who fought in 1849 but lost every match he had.
According to a recent study, facial hair may provide men more than simply a fashion statement. Beards may have developed to cushion the force of a blow and protect the jaw from injury. Modern fighters who use their hands instead of their face to fight may be at a disadvantage because of this. It may be possible that over time, these men would have been weeded out of the population because they could not compete against those who didn't grow beards.
The study was published in April 2013's issue of Evolutionary Biology. Research on dogs has shown that those who were kept without access to food and water for several days tended to develop more robust faces and thicker skulls than those who weren't deprived this way. Because bearded men tend to come from military or pre-industrial society backgrounds where such practices were common, they may have been subjected to similar selective pressures which led to the development of a hard face.
However, modern fighters who use their brains instead of their fists/feet may be able to compensate for the lack of facial hair by being smarter in other ways. After all, it takes more than just a tough face to become an elite fighter.
Beards and goatees are permissible, but must be tidy, clean, and well-maintained in order to project a professional image. Beard and goatee facial hair should not be more than one half inch (1/2") in length, shall be accompanied by a mustache, and shall be continuous with no designs shaved into it. Additionally, police officers cannot wear any form of facial hair at all on the job.
Police departments across the country have begun to allow their officers to grow beards as a means by which to better match their appearance with that of their colleagues. This is particularly important for officers who may be called upon to make contact with the public.
It is recommended that officers maintain their beards at least four days a week by washing them or using a beard shampoo and conditioner. Beards that are not washed regularly can begin to smell after several months of not being cleaned.
Officers should also avoid smoking while wearing their uniforms because tobacco stains easily from wool fabrics. If an officer does smoke while on duty, then they should try to quit until after they have been given approval to do so by their department's grooming policy.