Original Article Written by Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
Despite suffering one of the most horrendous cuts in recent ring history, former two-division world titlist Badou Jack laughed it off a few days later.
“It might not look pretty, but I’m a fighter not a model,” Jack said on a call with a few boxing reporters to discuss his gruesome injury on Tuesday.
Jack, who has won world titles at super middleweight and light heavyweight, faced Marcus Browne for a vacant interim light heavyweight world title on the Manny Pacquiao-Adrien Broner co-feature on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where Jack, a native of Sweden, lives.
In the seventh round an accidental head clash opened a vertical cut in the center of Jack’s forehead. And it was no ordinary cut. It was a gruesome gash that poured blood for the rest of the fight. It looked as though Jack had been stabbed.
Jack (22-2-3, 13 KOs), 35, who was behind on all three scorecards before the cut, had no quit in him and fought as hard as he could despite the injury.
“It was bothering me a little. I didn’t see too well, but in my heart I had to keep fighting no matter what,” Jack said. “I don’t care. It’s a fight. Things happen like that. There are no timeouts. This is not football or any other sport. This is boxing. This is the hurt business, so things happen. You got to just keep fighting.”
Though Jack lost 119-108, 117-110 and 116-111 on the scorecards, the heart and courage he showed to fight on with such a horrific cut earned him even more respect that he already had.
“I’ve been around the sport of boxing for over 40 years and I have never seen a cut that bad before,” said Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, which promotes Jack. “It takes guts to do what he did — to fight in the face of such adversity and never quit. The heart that he showed in the ring matches the heart he has outside of it, and we could not have been more impressed or proud of his performance.”
There have been countless images of Jack’s blood-soaked face and body posted on the internet and on social media. Not only was Jack covered in blood but so was Browne (23-0, 16 KOs), 28, of Staten Island, New York, and referee Tony Weeks, whose blue shirt was pink from the bloodshed by the end of the fight.
“Tony Weeks, it looked like he delivered a baby or something,” Jack said with a laugh.
After the fight Jack was taken to a hospital in Las Vegas, where a plastic surgeon needed about 30 minutes to sew him up. Jack said he needed about 100 stitches to close the gaping wound, about 30-plus apiece on three different layers of skin.
As bad as the cut was, the fight was allowed to continue — something for which some have criticized the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Jack said he was happy the fight was not stopped.
“I’m a fighter. I ain’t gonna quit. I’m not gonna tell ’em to stop no fight,” he said. “They took me to the doctor a couple of times. I was worried they were gonna stop it. But I kept fighting. (Browne) wasn’t hurting me. (The cut) was annoying and it was bleeding a lot and it messed up my game plan, but no matter what I’m going to keep fighting. I’m a fighter to the end. You’re going to have to kill me if you want to stop the fight. The blood affected me a little bit but no excuses. I tried my best.”
Jack, who said he would like a rematch with Browne, said his corner tried to keep him calm after the cut. Cut man Russ Anber, with a sterling reputation as one of the best in boxing, calmly worked on it between rounds, but Jack said Anber told him after the fight that an artery had been cut and that’s why the blood flow could not be stopped.
“(Trainer) Lou (Del Valle) told me it’s not that big of a cut but he was trying to calm me down. Of course, it was bad,” Jack said.
Jack has a foundation that helps raise money to assist refugees and he was headed to Dubai on Wednesday as part of a mission to aid Syrian refugees in Jordan. He said he thought of what those people are going through when he suffered the terrible cut.
“I don’t just fight for myself. I fight for the refugees that need help,” Jack said. “What’s a little scratch on my forehead? It’s nothing compared to what they’ve been through.”
Amer Abdallah, the co-founder of the Badou Jack Foundation, said Jack lost between one and two liters of blood because of the cut.
“He refused to back down,” Abdallah said. “Every time he had the opportunity when the doctor came over he refused. That’s the kind of fighting spirit Badou has. It’s the same spirit he puts toward his Badou Jack Foundation, which is giving children across the globe a fighting chance in life. There’s no way he’s going to stop for a cut when he’s fighting for something much larger.”
With a few days having passed since the injury, Jack said he feels fine and that he appreciates the outpouring of kind words of support from fans around the world. “Things happen. I’m not in the hospital. I didn’t get stabbed or shot. Just a little blood,” he said. “I’m a warrior. Not a big deal. I’m in good spirits. I’m OK.”
Read the original article here, written by Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer