Because boxing is such a physically demanding and bloody sport, a good cutman is one of a boxer’s most valuable assets. Instead of having a referee or ringside physician stop the fight prematurely due to a boxer’s injuries, a cutman uses the various tools in his toolkit to stop bleeding and swelling, allowing the fight to continue. In some places, a cutman must have a license to legally practice his trade, but in most cases, no special education or certification is required. Learning the craft and skills required to be a cutman at the side of an experienced cutman is the time-honored method.
The National Trainer and Cutman Association was founded to advocate for legal and financial protection for cutmen, who are typically employed on a casual basis. A related Junior Cutman Association holds seminars for those interested in learning how to be a cutman. Before a cutman can work independently in the boxing ring or in mixed martial arts fights, the association requires 5,000 hours of supervised work experience. In addition to traditional cutwork, a trainee must earn certifications in first aid and CPR, as well as learn how to properly wrap a boxer’s or fighter’s hands, according to the association.
It is critical for someone aspiring to be a cutman to master the art of hand wrapping, as it is one of his primary responsibilities. Hand wrapping correctly can help prevent serious injury. Another useful skill for a cutman is to be familiar with the fighter with whom he is working, to be able to read his body, face, and personality, and to recognize injury signs. Professional cutmen see themselves as more than just protection against injury and having a fight called off prematurely; they also boost a fighter’s or boxer’s confidence. According to some experts, in order to become a cutman, you must have a passion for the job, the ability to care for the person whose safety you are responsible for, and a desire to learn the best practices for fulfilling your responsibilities.
To work as a cutman, you must have some medical knowledge, but you do not need to be a doctor or paramedic. A doctor’s job is to heal, whereas a cutman’s job is to keep the fight going while controlling blood flow and easing bruises. A cutman must establish a reputation for competence and dependability. Cutman careers are frequently built on referrals.