With a career that started in boxing more than 30 years ago, the time, the experiences and some of the people I’ve met have rarely been able to withstand the test of time and make their mark as someone the fighters can depend on.
Nothing I’ve ever learned, or the skills I have honed into a profession, have ever had a guide book or a manual on “How To Get It Done”. This was not only true for me but for most of the people around me: athletes, sparring partners, trainers, seconds, and most importantly cutmen.
There is no manual, no School of Medicine or Medical Degree. It was done OJT (On The Job Training) and in the gym. It took time, dedication and stone cold commitment. You had to show up in a gym, make yourself known, hope for the opportunity and then get the comfort level that you know what the hell you’re doing.
Back in the early days of boxing and MMA, men like Al Gavin, Leon Tabbs (former UFC), Don House, Rudy Hernandez and ‘Stitch’ Duran were all there from the beginning. They worked every day in the gym, got fights and chances when they could and made it work with no mistakes. It all came down to word of mouth and how good you were in your last fight. That’s how you got your next job and how you perfected your skills.
And it is truly a skill. It’s a form of art and precision that you only learn with experience and working corners. A good Cutman can be the difference between winning and finishing a fight. The difference between legacy, legends, working and not working again. You get one chance to do it and one chance to mess it up.
But when you get it right, there will always be a spot. There will always be a next fight and there will always be that request for you and your style that has become your image. It’s important to remember that cutmen come and go but that talent for perfection that track record relating to success and the integrity to speak out when things go wrong only exists in a few. That’s what differentiates the legends from the journeymen and those who will be quickly forgotten from those who leave a lasting legacy
And once again, I didn’t read this in a book.
“This is how it is…”