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Objective: The biomechanics of the head for punches to the jaw and the risk of head injury from translational and rotational acceleration were studied.
Results: Punch force averaged 3427 (standard deviation (SD) 811) N, hand velocity 9.14 (SD 2.06) m/s, and effective punch mass 2.9 (SD 2.0) kg. Punch force was higher for the heavier weight classes, due primarily to a higher effective mass of the punch. Jaw load was 876 (SD 288) N. The peak translational acceleration was 58 (SD 13) g, rotational acceleration was 6343 (SD 1789) rad/s2, and neck shear was 994 (SD 318) N.
Conclusions: Olympic boxers deliver straight punches with high impact velocity and energy transfer. The severity of the punch increases with weight class.