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LifestylePlaces not to hit when boxing: Safety guidelines in professional boxing

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Places not to hit when boxing: Safety guidelines in professional boxing

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The recent tragic death of Nigerian boxer Sheriff Lawal has brought attention to the importance of safety measures in professional boxing.

Lawal, representing the UK, faced Portuguese contender Malam Varela at Harrow Leisure Centre on May 11, 2024, where he suffered a fatal blow to his temple, during his debut professional fight.

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In the aftermath of this incident, it’s crucial to highlight the specific areas of the body that boxers are not supposed to hit during matches. Here are the key guidelines:

  1. Below the Belt: One of the most well-known rules in boxing is the prohibition of hitting below the belt. This area includes the groin region and is off-limits for punches due to the risk of serious injury.
  2. Back of the Head and Neck: Hits to the back of the head and neck are strictly forbidden in boxing. These areas are vulnerable, and targeting them can result in severe head and spinal injuries.
  3. Kidneys: While not always explicitly stated in the rules, hitting the kidneys is generally considered unsportsmanlike and dangerous. The kidneys are vital organs responsible for filtering waste from the blood, and striking them can cause significant harm.
  4. Throat: Punches directed at the throat are highly dangerous and can lead to breathing difficulties, choking, or even life-threatening injuries. Therefore, boxers are prohibited from aiming for the throat during matches.
  5. Eyes: Intentionally targeting the eyes is not allowed in boxing. Eye injuries can be debilitating and may result in permanent damage to vision. Protecting the eyes is paramount for the safety of the boxers.
  6. Spine: Hits to the spine are strictly prohibited due to the risk of spinal cord injuries. Any impact to the spine can have severe consequences, including paralysis, making it a forbidden target in boxing matches.

These guidelines are enforced to prioritize the safety and well-being of boxers during competitions. While boxing is a physically demanding sport, adhering to these rules helps minimize the risk of serious injuries and tragedies.

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Boxing organizations and regulatory bodies, such as the World Boxing Council (WBC) and the International Boxing Federation (IBF), emphasize the importance of upholding these safety standards to ensure fair and safe competition for all athletes.

As the boxing community mourns the loss of Sheriff Lawal and reflects on the implications of his tragic death, it’s essential to reiterate the importance of following these guidelines to prevent similar incidents in the future.


Information in this article is based on guidelines provided by reputable boxing organizations such as the World Boxing Council (WBC) and the International Boxing Federation (IBF), as well as insights from experts in the field of sports medicine and boxing safety.

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Disclaimer: The Independent Ghana[TIG Post] provides this article for informational purposes only. While we strive for accuracy, readers are encouraged to verify the information independently. The reader assumes full responsibility for interpreting and using the information contained herein. Any action taken upon the information in this publication is strictly at your own risk, and The Independent Ghana will not be liable for any losses and damages in connection with the use of our content.

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