As there is no single authority organization in the boxing world, it might be confusing for a beginner to understand different rules set by different sanctioning bodies.
Here’s the complete breakdown: Can boxers have beards?
As a general rule, Boxers are not allowed to have beards unless it is trimmed to a certain length. Professional Boxers can compete with facial hairs but their jawline must be visible for safety precautions.
Why Beard is Not Allowed in Boxing?
Although most of the rules related to facial hair have been relaxed in recent years, but there’re some reasons why still full-grown beards are banned in boxing.
To Avoid Extra Unfair Advantages
In some cases, if the beard is large enough, the opponent might grab that bushy beard and pull it badly for their unfair advantage.
Some fighters might claim an extra advantage of rubbing their beard on the opponent’s face during clinching or providing a slippery hitting surface so the punch can potentially slip off relatively quickly at the time of impact.
Also, if a fighter has a long, well-groomed beard, it is enough to hide the jawline and make it difficult for the opponent to pinpoint the exact location on the chin.
That’s why full beards are not allowed in the boxing world.
For Fighter’s Safety
Another reason why full beards are not allowed in the boxing world is to take safety precautions beforehand.
When the fighter’s jawline is clearly visible, it’s easy for a referee or a doctor to detect a broken jaw. Also, in case of injuries, cuts are hard to treat especially when your chin is covered with facial hairs.
Also, a beard can be abrasive on the opponent’s face and might get into their eyes and mouth which is definitely not a good thing due to their coarse structure.
Does a Beard Protect from Punches?
A study done by David Carrier explores how beards can protect your jaws during fistfights but I strongly doubt if a beard can make any significant difference in terms of punch resistance.
Even if a longer and bushy beard are hanging off your chine, it doesn’t provide any shield or cushion punches at all.
Although beards might cause some issues to stop any obstruction in terms of any close-up or groundwork and may distract the opponent from targeting the chin properly, but they do not provide any cushion whatsoever.
Popular Boxers with Beards
In the early days of the sport, it all revolved around the mustaches. But from couple of years, there is a significant change in the trend!
Here’re some of the popular boxers with beards:
- Lamont Peterson
- Manny Pacquiao
- Roy Jones Jr
- Lennox Lewis
- Roberto Duran
- Keith Thurman
- Joe Frazier
- John Ruiz
- Robert Guerrero
- Shannon Briggs
My Final Thoughts on Can Boxers Have Beards?
Along with the 4 major sanctioning bodies, there are other smaller authorities too that have their own rules and regulations related to beards.
Generally, professional boxers can keep trimmed facial hair and not the fully-grown beards as it is beneficial for both the opponent as well as the fighter.