Former unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua could have a bit of assistance when he steps back into the ring to face the man who snatched away his titles back in June, Andy Ruiz Jr.
AJ is scheduled to fight the Mexican in Saudi Arabia in December in a highly-anticipated rematch and has been encouraged to use a revolutionary new mouthguard to help monitor the impact of blows to the head.
The mouthpiece has been designed and developed to provide live analysis of the impact made by shots to a boxer's head via a microchip inserted into the gum shield for the dual purpose of improving safety and informing training plans.
In the wake of the tragic death of 27-year-old boxer Patrick Day, who passed away as a result of brain trauma suffered in a bout earlier this month, calls for greater protection for pugilists and to enhance regulations for safety have been reignited.
The knockout Charles Conwell inflicted upon Day in the 10th round proved fatal, with the American sadly becoming the fourth boxer to die from injuries sustained in the ring since July. Joshua himself was revealed to be been concussed by Ruiz Jr in his defeat, though thankfully there were no more serious consequences.
The new sensor-technology ‘The Protecht Solution’ is developed by Sports & Wellbeing Analytics Limited (SWA) and has the backing of Team GB’s chief medical officer Mike Loosemore, a prominent figure of the boxing team that trains in Joshua’s camp in Sheffield.
“It would give us a better idea of the concussive blows the boxer was taking during sparring because at the moment we have really no idea," explained Loosemore to the Daily Mail.
“We haven’t had those discussions with Anthony yet so I can’t say whether he’d be interested or not but I’d like to get him involved.”
Able to be used across a number of impact sports, as stated on the SWA website, “The PROTECHT system provides objective real-time surveillance of head impacts by sending the details of each impact received through the mouth guard [to the team].”
The data received can then be used to “aid decision-making on head impact-related incidents” and “help plan and manage training.”
The managing director of rugby union side Ospreys, Andrew Millard, has also praised the technology, saying:
“The benefit of this system is it provides real-time data, assessing impacts that may otherwise have escaped people’s attention, enabling the medical teams to react and manage accordingly, helping to create a safer environment.”
Joshua hasn’t been confirmed to be utilising the revolutionary new technology, but there are calls for the 30-year-old to use them at least in his sparring sessions in training ahead of the Ruiz fight.
Joshua is the heavy favourite to regain his titles in the so-called ‘Clash on the Dunes’ on December 7 in Diriyah.