In this corner with Russ Anber: The unkindest cut
Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Last weekend light heavyweight Badou Jack suffered a horrendous vertical cut on his forehead after an accidental clash of heads with Marcus Browne. Renowned cut and corner man Russ Anber exclusively gives Boxing Monthly his account of being in Jack’s corner and dealing with the cut…
“I’m a pretty good ring historian, and if there has been a worse cut in boxing history I’d like to know about it, because I have never ever seen a worse cut when a fight was allowed to continue. Ever!
“I think you’d have to go back to the Jim Watt versus Sean O’Grady fight to see a similar sort of cut right in the forehead [O'Grady was cut by a butt from Watt in round ten of their 1980 WBC lightweight title fight, and went on to lose the fight via 12th-round TKO] although I don’t think that was as bad.
“Badou ended up getting 90 stitches in three layers from the skull working the way back up to the outer shell of the forehead to close it. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life.
“If you figure that you look at approximately six stitches per inch when a guy gets cut, depending on how tight and close together the doctor makes the stitches, well Badou had 30 stitches on the outside and 90 in total. That’s massive.
“I don’t even think the photos do it justice because with the close-ups of the cut you can’t see the full perspective of his forehead and his face - when you realise just how long it was it was crazy, insane.
“The night before last I spoke to Badou and said to him I feel like I let you down that I couldn’t stop that. In fairness, though, in my 40 years in boxing I’ve never seen anything like it.
“When we got back to the dressing room I noticed that the artery that runs up the centre of our forehead, it just kept pissing blood out the bottom of it and the blood kept running down the edge of his nose. The rest of the cut I got, I stopped, but that one vein I couldn’t.
“After the fight when we were back in the dressing room, as soon as I was able to apply sustained pressure to it for a few minutes I was able to curtail the full flow of blood.
“However the short time I had in the fight between rounds just wasn’t enough time to get it to coagulate because it was coming from a major artery. It pissed me off that I couldn’t get at it the way I wanted to, although I thought I did pretty good under the conditions we had with a cut that deep.
"It was awful, although in a way it looked worse than it was. There was a lot of blood coming out of that vein but it was mainly down his nose before then spreading all over the place.
“It wasn’t like a cut on the eyelid, which is a position of danger. Those are the worst, cuts on the eyelids are awful. Cuts in and around the socket are dangerous as they can hamper your vision and cause nerve damage.
“So as ugly as it was, and it was ugly for sure, it was a cut in the middle of the forehead and it wasn’t dangerous to him, other than the blood blinding him.
“But for sure it altered the course of the fight though. Yes Marcus Browne was a tough opponent with a style that’s not good for Badou Jack. He’s a southpaw and so on.
"But everything that could go wrong for Badou went wrong and when you add in the fact there was a cut like that – come on, you have to figure without the cut he would have given Browne a better run for his money. It would have been a different fight."
Russ Anber is on Twitter and Instagram @russanber.
Russ was speaking to Luke G. Williams