If you train in any type of MMA, Muay Thai, or Boxing, one of the most important pieces of protective equipment you will use is a mouthguard. Without a proper fitting mouthguard, things like missing teeth, jaw injuries, and even head trauma are more likely to happen, which is why wearing a mouthguard for these sports is always recommended.
Mouth injuries are far more common than you may think. Having a tooth knocked out is both painful and expensive which is why choosing the right mouthguard for your sport is so important.
Hear from Paul Ryan, a triple Irish champion who has recently signed with MTK Global and Ashley Sexton, an English pro boxer, known for his one-punch KO in his fight with Usman Ahmed, about their experiences in the sport, their aspirations and most importantly what equipment they use to keep themselves safe.
How did you get into the sport?
Paul Ryan – I got into the sport of boxing through watching old fights and Rocky movies as a child and I instantly fell in love with it.
Ashley Sexton - I first got into the sport of boxing because I was a very small timid child and my father thought that I should learn to fight as I was growing up in Edmonton of North London which people considered to be quite a rough part of London and it would benefit me to be able to throw some hands if need be, thankfully I’ve stayed out of trouble and never really had to use the hands I learned to fight with but it brought me success and able to form a career from Boxing.
Who is your biggest inspiration in the sport and why?
Ryan - My biggest inspiration in the sport is my family. They help me with so much and I know I have a real chance to create a better life for myself and for them.
Sexton – My biggest inspiration in boxing is I always aspire to be better than I am and everyone else. when I was younger I always wanted to win each fight win each win was huge for me, as I got older I wanted to make a better life for my family and that still continues today as I’m now a father and I want to provide a better life through fighting for my children and my partner but you know there’s always inspiration in boxing I always look at the British champions of past and present and they inspire me I want to be like them with the Lonsdale belt around my waist.
Tell us about the kit you use to train.
Ryan - I use two pairs of 16oz gloves, one pair for sparring/one pair for bag work, a groin guard, a head -guard, hand wraps & most importantly an OPRO gumshield. I have been using OPRO gumshields for the last 5 years and would not use any other brand.
Sexton – The training kit I use at the moment has always been an OPRO mouthguard ever since I first got one on the England/Great Britain boxing squad I’ve always had a OPRO mouthguard so I guess I’ve been using OPRO for over 16 years and as I consider myself to have quite big teeth so they need protection and OPRO is the best.
My kit currently consists of Adidas and Nike boxing boots with Fly head guard, Fly protector and 14 ounce Fly sparring gloves.
All my training kits like tracksuits, Tops, Shorts are BXSMRT.
Why is it important to wear a mouthguard in boxing?
Ryan - A gumshield is possibly the most important piece of protection you can use in boxing and you should spare no expense when selecting one to use.
Sexton - A mouthguard is so important in boxing because it help minimise injuries not only in the fight but also in training. I also believe you need a product like OPRO as the cheap ones off the shelf types don’t protect as well. When I’ve lost my mouthguard and used a cheap one, the amount of cuts and nicks in my cheeks/gums/tongue has been crazy and I’ve been in discomfort for days if not weeks. It’s worth getting the best of one of the most important bits of kit in boxing.
Who would your dream fight be against?
Ryan - My dream fight would be Floyd Mayweather to bank on that pay preview money.
Sexton – My dream fight of a current fighter would be Naoya Inoue from Japan, who is the unified bantamweight world champion, he’s a big punching monster whose speed, timing and power is unreal but I’m sure I’d push him hard and give him a good run for his money.
Any words of wisdom for those starting out in the world of boxing?
Ryan - Words of wisdom I have for younger boxers coming through is to listen to your coaches, keep the head down train hard and most importantly enjoy the process.
Sexton – My advice for someone getting into the sport would be to stay dedicated, keep your weight under control at all times, always stay ticking over and training most importantly make sure you have an OPRO mouthguard to keep your teeth and smile in good shape.
Have you already got your OPRO mouthguard for boxing? Click here to watch how to mould a boxing mouthpiece.
Are you a braces wearer who boxes? Check out the best boxing mouthguard for braces here.
Looking for ways to keep your mouthguard fresh? Click here to read about how to clean your boxing mouthguard.
Think you might prefer/need a completely bespoke, custom fit mouthguard for boxing? Visit our other site www.opro.com.