Wrapping It Up: Famed Cornerman Talks Triumphant 11

Posted by Matt Lucas on

Away from the bright lights in the center stage is the backroom. That’s where cornermen like James Guccione do their work. That’s where he’ll be for Triumphant 11 on June 12th in Miami.

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The mustached former fighter is the man to have in the corner. He’s a hand wrapping specialist.

Guccione came up and did the hard yards to learn his craft.

“I had plenty of nights I worked the full card by myself. It would be 20 fights on the card,” he said. “I wrap everybody's hands early. And then and then I'm working cage side, both corners at the same time.”

James Guccione wrapping hands

Photo by Pari Aryafar

His early work backstage helped grow his career as a professional. The fighters that had their hands wrapped by him as amateurs turned to him when they became professional.

Cornering is also a way for him to stay close to the fight game.

“You're in the backroom, you're with the fighter right before he gets in a ring,” Guccione said.

“There's just something to that, you feel the fighter and everything he's going through.

When a nak muay has their wraps put on their whole attitude changes. It starts to become real.

James Guccione wrapping hands

For the people backstage that’s a special moment.

Wrapping the hands is pivotal as it’s to protect the fighter as well. An improper wrap can have a hand break.

“You have to protect those knuckles,” Guccione said. “I hate to even say it out loud, but I wrapped a lot of hands and I got I don't have any broken bones under my belt.”

The technique for wrapping hands can be formulaic for some, and others, like Guccione an art form.

There are two components to a wrap, tape, and gauze. Rules and regulations vary but generally not much tape is applied. Tape is only allowed up to two fingers behind the knuckles. The gauze forms a big chunk of the padding.

For boxers with more fragile hands, a bigger pad lays on the knuckles. Guccione will also protect the metacarpals with more tape if the hand has been fractured in the past.

Glove size is important as well in the art of hand wrapping. If the knuckle pad is too big the hand won’t fit into the glove.

“He's never making a full fist,” Guccione explained. “You got to watch the glove; the glove tells you to wrap lots of times. In a Muay Thai fight, we're using eight or ten ounce gloves, you can make a decent size knuckle pad.”

It is important to communicate with the athlete as well.

“I can tell by a fighter’s face if I made it too tight. You read a fighter right then,” Guccione said.

The boxers are there to fight, and not complain. The cornerman needs to do their job right. Without proper circulation in their hand, or the inability to close their fist, a blow could be a broken bone, or a missed knock out.

Guccione knows the knocks and excitement are coming. That’s part of why he’s joining the Triumphant crew for this historic card.

“Every announcement they made, it's been solid fights,” Guccione said. “Triumphant and Muay Thai Addict are doing big things. They're pulling it off, especially given the times. To be a part of that, I didn't even hesitate.”

Don’t hesitate to get your tickets to this historic event as Kevin Ross takes on Asa Ten Pow for the WMC MAD title.

Reserve your ticket for Triumphant 11 in Miami Florida here.

Livestream Available now. Click here to order

Make sure to stay tuned for more news coming soon!

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