Since the dawn of time and since a man was put on this Earth, inevitably physical fist fights incurred between men which have resulted in many nasty cuts. Fast forward a bit, to the era of the original bare knuckle boxing, to then drawing up of licensed rules known as the Marquess of Queensberry to which the modern sport of boxing is based on today – cuts are still as prevalent as ever.
The job of the boxing cut man continues to be one of the most crucial roles needed in professional boxing in my opinion. How many times have we seen over the years in big championship fights a fighter been badly cut early on or mid way through the action and in desperate need for the cut man? One fighter from the UK that springs to mind straight away was Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton, who early on in his career was certainly as they say in the trade “a bleeder”. Before Hatton went onto acclaim and become the world champion, practically every second fight he was in he suffered a nasty laceration.
At the time there was a little known but highly valuable member of team Hatton – Mick Williamson, who many a time had to stem the flow of the Hitman’s blood whether it be vicious gashes above the eye or cuts to the forehead. Williamson to this day is given huge credit by Ricky himself for been a vital part of his career early on and had he not had him in his corner the case could be made that Hatton could have
lost some of those fights on points where he cut, had the bouts gone to the scorecards at the time of his wounds been cause for stopping the fight.
Every member of a fighter’s team is important whether it’s the head trainer, pad man, manager, promoter or what have you, but it just seems to me like the essential cut man goes under the radar. I know Mick Williamson never went to medical school to learn his trade and as the story has it, he got into the business of patching fighters up after a chance meeting with famed English promoter Frank Warren and there after learnt his craft on the job. That in itself is a real boxing story and one you’d only hear about in this great sport of ours!
You can think of many other famed fighters through the years who were known to bleed such as Arturo Gatti for example, who regularly went to war in some real blood baths. Even modern day fighters like Miguel Cotto and Manny Pacquiao have suffered some horrific cuts and in a sport like boxing where at the highest level so much is on the line for a fighter, often times the cut man can be the most important person in the corner on the night if things hit the fan so to speak.
In the States in recent times another famed boxing cut man would be Jacob Stitch Duran who has become one of the most sought after cut specialists around the globe today in combat sports. He has been known to be seen in the corner of mega star fighters around the globe both in professional boxing and in the sport of mixed martial arts (notably in the UFC).
There is no doubt that boxing cut men play one of the most vital roles in the sport in my opinion. The next time you switch on a big fight, take a second to look out for the cut man, and spare a thought for boxing’s unsung hero.