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15 NOVEMBER 2018



By Dave Tenny

My name is Dave Tenny and I am a Professional Cutman. I have been in the sport of boxing for over 24 years. I learned my trade from one of the best in the business, Al Gavin. After training fighters at Gleason’s Gym in New York, I decided to become a cutman. By 1994, I had my first championship fight with Kevin Kelley. Since then I have been the cutman for 18 other title bouts. I have worked with such fighters as Jake Rodriguez, Dana Rosenblatt, Oba Carr, Terronn Millett, Frankie and David Toledo, Jose Rivera, John Molnar, and Carl Johannson to name a few.

One of things I try to do is always perfect my trade. It is crucial to know your fighter and learn everything you can to do the best job possible for them. I have worked on some nasty cuts in my day and I have seen some horrible bruises. Facial swelling (trauma) around the eyes is something I would like to touch on. Why is it that so many cutman take an Enswell and vigorously rub the swelling from one side to the other? Did you ever wonder why? I did that, and that is why I am here to say that not only is it more damaging to the eye, but completely UNNECESSARY! If you think you’re trying to move blood away from the eye…. WRONG… think again. We cannot possible move blood in that way and expect it to stay. It moves on its own and will take the path of least resistance. I have confirmed this with Dr. Margaret Goodman and Dr. Flip Homansky of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Please also refer to Dr. Homansky’s article on cuts.

Gentlemen and ladies, the easiest and best way to reduce swelling during and after a fight is simply taking one hand and apply firm pressure with the Enswell or an ice bag on top of the area of trauma. Place your other hand behind the fighter’s head. In this way, and this way only, the swelling starts to subside. Hold the Enswell as long as you can. A minute between rounds isn’t long, but it often enough time to make a difference.

NOSEBLEEDS. Here again, it is pretty simple. The key is PRESSURE. Using your Q-tip soaked in Adrenalin hydrochloride, place it gently inside the nostril. There is no need to “jam” it up the nose, as it will cause more harm than good by further traumatizing the area. With your other hand, hold the nostril up against the Q-tip. If it is a normal nosebleed, this should take care of it. Also, a cold icepack can help. I generally like to use those freezer bags filled with ice, as they stay very cold.

If you have a continuous heavy flow of blood coming from the nose that is dark in color, chances are the nose is broken in some way and you will have to work fast with your coagulant, pressure, and ice. Now guys, remember the ear, nose and throat are connected to one another. Make certain you tell your fighter to breathe through his mouth when you apply the coagulant. You might also want to look inside his mouth to insure he is not swallowing too much blood that could induce nausea or vomiting.

Lastly, never hesitate to check with the ringside physician during the fight about a nosebleed. I do it, AND it won’t make you any less of a cutman.


Dave Tenny will soon follow-up with some other words of wisdom for the cutman. Please check out his web site:


Please check Ringside and Training Principles Safety and Conditioning section that will address these issues and others.

Related articles:

The magic of the cut man…or how I learned how to apply pressure to a laceration By Flip Homansky MD

Cuts … stop or not? Part I By Margaret Goodman, MD


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