Manila, Nov 13: Boxers should be forced to wear dentist-designed mouthguards to protect their jaws and teeth and stamp out a trick of playing for time, referees said today.
The call for individually designed shields, fitted by dentists, has been a central issue at the World Boxing Council's 45th annual Convention in Manila.
''The first thing that should be done is the various different sanctioning organisations step in and demand that boxers, trainers and the corners spend a little money to get their boxer a proper mouthpiece,'' referee Tony Gibson told Reuters.
Referees want to stamp out the use of cheap shop-bought shields that can be deliberately spat out to gain a fighter precious seconds while it is rinsed and refitted.
They also argue that proper mouthguards offer better protection than the cheap over-the-counter versions.