The jitters not only hit a fighter moments before a fight but also his whole team, including a cut man. There are so many unexpected things that can happen before a fight especially when the fighter’s aren’t high profile. Just like a fighter’s opponent may change and his time slot for his fight may change, it can also happen for a cutman. Their emotions are like a fighter, go up and down with the night they had. Here is part 2 of diary of a cut man with Mike Rodriguez:
4 pm: Check in time with commission. A quick meet and greet with other fight camps and then off to look for ice and waters. Good thing I find the ice. We are told that our fight has been bumped up 45 minutes.
4:30 pm: Time to organize everything we will take to ringside as fighter Vahe Suruhanyan gets wrapped and warms up. You can never have too much ice and towels. The locker room is starting to buzz with activity. I put the N-Swells over a bed of ice in my trusted collapsible yellow bucket and make sure I have a cold and warm Jar of Vaseline. I like putting cold Vaseline over a cut because it’s a little sturdier and stays on the affected area better.
My cut man medicine (Adrenaline) is ready but I won’t dip a cotton swab until almost the end of the first round. I find out last minute that I’m not working cuts for Larry Smith. His people don’t want to pay but on a better note I am going to work the second fight with Holly Lawson. So I’ll b working the first 2 bouts.
5PM: It’s about 10 minutes till we walk to the ring. As Suruhanyan gets loose and hits mitts with head trainer, Shadeed Soluki, I start putting on a few layers of Vaseline as his sweat increases.
5:10 pm: Time to walk to the ring. Opponent Edwin Solis enters the ring first. We enter the ring under the bright lights of the Top Rank Boxing banner and Vahe is ready to go. His opponent has the home town crowd behind him but Vahe seems unfazed.
What most people don’t realize is while the fight action is going on; it’s a busy time for a cut man in the corner. It’s a must to keep your N-swells cold and to make sure everything is ready to go and accessible. The fight goes smoothly and Suruhanyan doesn’t sustain any damage to his face. The big thing with him is keeping his body cool with a cold/damp towel in between rounds. I also make sure he keeps a good amount of Vaseline on his face so the punches don’t cut him.
You only have one minute in between rounds so it’s important that the corner men all know their role to keep the fighter calm. Fortunately I’ve worked nearly all of Vahe’s fights so the corner runs like clockwork. Manager Alex Vaysfeld translates instructions into Russian and Vahe wins a unanimous decision. It’s a good night for Union Boxing Management. I’m even starting to learn some phrases in Russian.
5:50 pm: Since I have 2nd bout with Holly Lawson. I stay ringside and get everything re-organized. Asst. trainer Camile Soluki greased her up in the dressing room. I add a few finishing touches of Vaseline as she receives a big ovation from her fans.
Holly sustains a head but to the forehead and as she comes back to the corner. it looks like a Unicorn is sticking out. I put the iced N-swell and go to work. I do the same for the rest of the fight and by the end of the fight the “Unicorn” has left the building. She wins a unanimous decision. She is happy with my work and asks me to work her next fight on May 12. It’s been a busy hour but we went 2-0 and everyone on our team is happy.
After my work is done it’s always nice to relax and chat with friends and enjoy the other fights. It’s always more enjoyable when your fighters win and you were able to do something to help them.
8PM: Just as I leave the arena to drive home, I get several calls to work a few upcoming fights. One of which is from Washington DC based trainer Andrew Council. It looks like I’m going to work cuts on the Showtime card June 2 for his fighter Joseph Elegele. Looks like it’s going to be a good summer, until next time fight fans always remember, “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready”. Mike