When a referee says “protect yourself at all times” before a fight, what he generally means is that a fighter always needs to concentrate and protect themselves from any punches to the face. It’s not just a fighter’s head that needs protecting though as the groin area also needs to be looked after.
Thankfully for a boxer though they won’t have to worry about using their movement to avoid punches to the groin as they are against the rules. Accidents though do happen but when they do a, boxer’s groin should be protected by a foul protector, even though the shots can still hurt!
What Is a Foul Protector?
In simple terms a foul protector is there to protect you from foul shots. When you’re fighting you are only allowed to have protection in one area and that’s in the area that your opponent is not allowed to hit. If you get hit there when you’re in a fight and you’re not wearing a proper protector then you best hope that it’s spotted by the referee or it could end the fight.
Even if the referee does spot it and gives a foul it can still badly affect your performance in a fight. If you’ve ever been in an intense sparring session or a fight you know that low blows can happen. Whether it is just a tired shot or a mistimed body shot you need protection from those types of shots and a groin protect you will allow you to move on and get on with the fight.
A referee though should always check that fighters are using the right boxing equipment before a fight though and that includes wearing a groin protector. If you’re not using one then you shouldn’t be allowed to box which would be a very bad experience, and a very uncomfortable one if you have to borrow someone else’s.
Check out this awesome video on what to look for in the perfect no foul protector!
How Do You Actually Use a Foul Protector?
In order to use a foul protector you have to ensure that it fits correctly and won’t bother you while you’re wearing it. Some of the more casual ones that are worn for sparring are essentially tight underwear which has a protective cup at the front which is then just pulled up and fits securely. While this does ensure a tight fit it’s not really what you want in a fight but it’s good enough for sparring.
If you’re using a full foul protector though then this might need additional securing with usually some help from a friend. Like with the best boxing gloves, the only way to ensure that you get a perfect fit is to have a foul protector that laces up. This will ensure that a proper foul protector so that it doesn’t move around while you are fighting and allows you the free range of movement that you need.
The reason why lace is preferred still preferred to other types of securing mechanism is that it makes the product easy to put on when the laces are loose but allows you to secure if very tightly when it’s done up to ensure that it stays still while you are fighting. Velcro fastenings or other options just can’t offer the same level of durability or tightness.
The Obvious Benefits Of A No Foul Protector
When it comes to this type of equipment there can often be sniggers and sneers when we talk about it because of what it’s meant to protect and we all know what a ‘groin’ protector is really protecting. Getting hit in that region from a football or by accident though can cause a few laughs but if you got a serious punch there from a boxer then it becomes a much more serious matter.
It offers a lot of protection and if you’ve ever been punched in that region while you’re wearing a foul protector you know that it can still seriously take the wind out of your sails even though you’re fully protected. A rule that not everyone is aware of is the amount of time that you get to recover if you get hit with a low blow.
Getting a vicious body shot can affect you in the same way as a low blow where your body is temporarily paralyzed and you physically can’t get up. Obviously if you get a body shot then you’re going to have to get back up in 10 seconds but if you receive a low blow foul you actually have up to 5 whole minutes to recover.
That’s a very long time and shows the seriousness of the foul and how the governing bodies know how long it can take to recover fully from a blow. If it takes boxers up to 5 minutes to recover from a low blow when they are wearing a foul protector, just imagine who long it’s going to take to recover from one if you’re not wearing it.
Another major benefit of having a groin protector is that it means that you’ll simply be allowed to fight. We go into more detail in the next paragraph but if you want to step into the ring then you have to wear one.
There is also another factor to think about as well and that is confidence. If you’re facing a flurry of punches in sparring and you’re not wearing one or if you’re in a fight and you know your protector is not up to scratch then it might be something else that plays on your mind and doesn’t allow you to fight to your full potential. You want to be able to fight with a clear mind and wearing a great foul protector will help with that.
Are There Any Rules For No Foul Protectors?
There are strict rules when it comes to boxing equipment but wearing a foul protector is one of those pieces of equipment that you shouldn’t need any rules for as you should be wearing one all of the time when punches are being thrown.
Even if you’re just doing bag work then it’s useful to wear as it helps to get you used to wearing it so that it feels as natural as possible when it comes to a fight. I remember once during a light sparring session I received a low blow and had to take a knee for a very long time before I could get back up again as I wasn’t wearing any protection. Some mistakes you don’t make twice.
If you’re in a fight then you have to wear one by the rules of boxing so if you want to have a bout then you simply don’t have a choice as you will be turned away from the ring if you show up without one. Unless you want to use someone else’s sweaty groin protector then it’s probably best to go out there and get one as soon as you can.
As you have to wear one when you fight, it’s a good idea to practice while you’re wearing one as well as you don’t want to go into a fight not having ever worn one before. Wearing one while doing bag work is a good idea, wearing one in sparring is wise to keep yourself protected but also prepared for the fight.
Our Recommendation.. The Best On The Market!
In the first ever amateur bout that I had, the only groin protector that I wore was a borrowed cricket box that was placed between two layers of underwear. It wasn’t exactly the best solution but as my opponent was throwing wild haymakers to the head for the whole fight, thankfully the makeshift protector wasn’t put to the test.
Over the years I have moved on to various different protectors until I settled on this brilliant protector from Ringside which ticks all the boxes when it comes to what you’re looking for. A groin protector should go by unnoticed when you’re in a fight or sparring and that’s exactly what this product does.
It’s lightweight which is vitally important in that aspect of it going unnoticed as you want a protector that won’t restrict your mobility when you’re in a ring. Your legs are critical to performing well so you don’t want anything that is going to affect your limb movement or make your legs feel heavy.
It’s made from synthetic leather which feels great while you’re wearing it and it a very durable material as well. To go with that, it has a tricot lining which adds to the comfort level. Not only is this protector comfortable but it’s also easy to use as well as it has a hook and loop closure which gives a tight fitting and allows you to fight without anything distracting you.
One of the most annoying things when you are in a fight is your equipment bothering you as it is a horrible distraction. That could be something coming loose on your glove, your headgear not fitting right or it could be your groin protector riding too high or needing to constantly be pulled up.
One of the main reasons I’ve settled on using this product though is that it will sit exactly where you need it at all times. When you’re wearing this foul protector you are able to concentrate on the job at hand as it feels comfortable, is durable and does everything that you want it to do.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do You Have To Wear One?
As far as a boxing match the simple answer is, yes. The referee will check if you’re wearing one and if you’re not then you won’t be allowed to fight. The world of boxing is heavily regulated as it’s not just to protect the fighters but also the individuals involved as well. If something happened to you during a fight then there only person to blame should be yourself. While it would be stupid to step into the ring without a protector, if you get hit in the groin, it will also be seen as a black mark against the referee as well for allowing you to fight. They do check and if they don’t, they are not doing their job properly.
Of course the rules of boxing don’t apply to sparring and this is a place where you and the people around you have to set down the rules. If you’re doing light, technical sparring when you could probably get away without wearing one although I still wouldn’t advise it. If you’re doing anything beyond that though just be good to you and your future children and make sure that you are protected.
2. Are There Different Types?
We have already seen the classical type of foul protector that you should be wearing for a fight as they have a level of padding over your hips all across the front of the body then obviously the groin part of the protection. These are the most highly effective and the ones that you should be wearing when full power punches are being thrown.
There are though compression shorts available which are essentially tight shorts like you’d get with cycling shorts except for the fact that they have an inbuilt cup which will help protect your groin. Of course these types of shorts off no protection to the lower part of your waist that is covers by a full protector but will protect your groin from serious injury.
The types of shorts though are the reusable cloth wraps of the groin protector in the world as they are a shortcut when you don’t need the same level of protection. These are ideal for when you are training if you’re looking for something a little bit easier to put on and wear.
3. How Comfortable Are No Foul Protectors?
A: This is where you see a massive difference in a product like the one we reviewed earlier from Ringside and an inferior product. A well-fitted and well-made foul protector should fit securely around your waist and not bother you during a fight.
Far too many times you see boxers try and adjust their foul protector during a fight and it can be incredibly frustrating to try and fight when a piece of equipment is bothering you. When you are fighting with a quality foul protector then you don’t actually even notice it at all during a fight, it might look comfortable to wear, but it really isn’t