Tony Jeffries – The cut that cost me $43,000

Tony Jeffries
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In his Letter From America Tony Jeffries reveals the kind of problem boxers face behind the scenes

THIS cut cost me $43,000.

Tony Jeffries

I received this cut from a deliberate headbutt in my eighth professional fight.

After the fight, the doctor who stitched me up didn’t do the best job. There were a few fighters who were cut on the show and with him being the only doctor sowing up the scars, I think he was rushed, so he didn’t do a great job.

Fast forward six weeks to my next training camp for my next fight which was scheduled in another eight weeks and I flew back to LA where I trained with Tommy Brooks.

I started training and everything was going great for two weeks, then as soon as I sparred the cut started to bleed a little. It had a load of scar tissue around it and never heeled probably because of the doctor’s botched job after my previous fight.

Still, I continued to train and for my next sparring sessions one of the old-school trainers came up with an idea that he said would help prevent the cut reopening.

The idea was to cut a hole in a sponge, put it on my scar with the scar being in the middle of the hole, wrap a bandage around it and then put my head guard on top of it. To be honest, I felt pretty stupid having a big bandage around my head, but what the hell, I gave it ago as I only had six weeks ’til my fight.

To my surprise, the old-timer’s trick worked and I was back to sparring for a couple of weeks. I was very happy with this because Evander Holyfield was in camp at the same time as we shared the same trainer and I had been told I was going to be sparring with him. This made me nervous but very excited, but then the sparring session before I was about to spar with Holyfield the cut burst open, blood dripped all down my face; the sponge must have moved under the head guard. I was gutted! Not only did I miss the chance to share the ring with one of the greatest fighters of all time, but this camp had made a MASSIVE hole in my pocket!

I was due to be paid $32,000 for the fight but it was off! I’d put around $8,000 of my money into my training camp with flights, hotel, food, flying my sports scientist out and putting him up, and then other expenses such as massages, equipment, car rentals etc. It was all down the drain!

For my career to continue, I had to get this fixed so it wouldn’t happen again. I got referred to a very experienced doctor in Beverly Hills to fix this cut. He had to cut the scar tissue out and re-stitch it. I remember this like yesterday because after he cut the lump of skin from the cut, he let me hold it!

Obviously this came at a cost, too – $3,000!

So, yeah, this cut ended up costing me a fortune!

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