A boxing glove designed to lessen the impact on the receiving end has been developed in Canberra.
While the creators admit they doubt it would ever be used in professional boxing, which relied on the "entertainment value" of knockouts, they believe it will open up the sport to people who would like to take part without the risk.
The new design is being tested at the University of Canberra Research Institute of Sport and Exercise, in a collaborative effort brought together by Boxing Australia participation manager and PhD candidate Paul Perkins.
Mr Perkins, formerly Boxing Australia's national coach, is working with a team including former AIS chief scientist turned university professor, Allan Hahn, and local industrial designer Geordie Ferguson to bring the idea to life.
Mr Perkins said he believed the dangers involved in the sport put many people off. For the past five years, he had been investigating new ways to entice more people to participate in boxing.
"We've been very interested in developing modified forms of boxing, so we're really trying to promote the idea that boxing can be done in a safe way," he said.
"I suppose we're targeting a demographic that might not want to be involved in a traditional form of the sport but can enjoy a safer form."
The boxing gloves are a new element in the long-running project, which initially introduced BoxTag, a modified form of the sport where the head is removed as a target zone, to people in the nation's capital.
Mr Hahn said the modified form of boxing doesn't have the same television entertainment value, but it can produce good outcomes in terms of physical fitness and skills.
"Professional boxing is largely entertainment," Mr Hahn said.
"People like to see the knockouts and so on and we're trying to develop a form where ideally knockouts can't happen, so there are two different elements at play. One is the entertainment element and what people want to see, and the other one is what they would actually be prepared to take part in."
Mr Hahn said traditional forms of boxing are very exclusive.
"You either end up being a champion, or in many cases you drop out pretty early because if you're not a champion you're probably getting hurt," he said.
Stellen Studio's Mr Ferguson said when the team approached him to help out with the design, he eagerly got on board.
While he had little experience with boxing, "other than watching documentaries on Muhammad Ali", he was able to bring his skills as a designer and upholsterer to develop the prototype.
"When Allan and Paul came to me, they'd developed a working prototype concept … What they had was made of lycra and basically, it wasn't very durable," Mr Ferguson said.
"I've made it out of kangaroo leather, which we used because it has some fairly unique properties, it's very lightweight and strong.
"The impact-absorbing mechanism involves a latex bladder," he said.
Mr Hahn said the next step was to have the glove manufactured more affordably and introduced to the modified sport.