Couture: ‘I was in Control for Most of the Fight’

By Mike Sloan Jun 26, 2008
Kim Couture (Pictures) spoke with at length on Wednesday, moments before she had surgery on her broken jaw. Couture was injured in her professional debut, a unanimous decision loss to Kim Rose (Pictures) on June 20 at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Irked by Internet speculation and what she feels was unfair media coverage [including a report from], Couture set the record straight on how her jaw was broken, how she feels she fared in the bout and her hopes for a rematch. There were reports circulating around the arena on Friday that you suffered not only a broken jaw but also a broken nose and fractured orbital bone. How much of those reports are accurate?
Kim Couture: There's no broken nose or orbital bone but my jaw is broken in two places. There's nothing wrong with my eyes at all and there's nothing wrong with my nose. The blood was just coming from my mouth. Where is your jaw broken?
Couture: It's broken completely in half right down the middle of my chin and then back under my right ear. Are you going to have your jaw wired shut?
Couture: No, I'm not. I'm going in -- a got a second opinion -- and I'm going to get titanium plate screws in [the jaw]. Do you know how long the procedure will take and how long will the recovery process be?
Couture: The surgery will take about a couple hours and [my doctor] said I'll be able to eat a steak dinner tonight if I want. I can't spar or wrestle for about six weeks, but I can certainly do strength and conditioning right away. He said I'll be out and about and looking normal tonight. That's good news. Usually broken jaws require wiring and you can't eat anything solid for weeks.
Couture: No, he said that's old news, that's the old way. [Laughs] I'm glad I got a second opinion. Obviously your fight with Kim [Rose] didn't go the way you wanted. Ultimately, what went wrong in the fight?
Couture: Well, I just walked out there to touch gloves and she just hit me. She wasn't interested in touching gloves and that first shot is what broke my jaw. My left hand wasn't even up to protect myself -- it was straight out to touch her glove. She took her shot, connected it and dropped me. That first shot is what broke it. Without the benefit of replays, it was hard to discern what happened. Are you saying it was a cheap shot?
Couture: I don't think she did it on purpose or as a cheap shot, but maybe it was her nerves or her coaches saying that she had to get that first shot off. Or maybe she just completely forgot to touch gloves? At any point in the fight with that broken jaw, did you think about tapping out?
Couture: No, not at all. Was the broken jaw excruciating pain or was it not an issue?
Couture: Oh, it was excruciating. Every time I took her down, the initial takedown hurt and when I had her down and she was holding onto me, every time she would squeeze my head, I could feel my jaw split into three pieces and overlap itself. Even when I would posture up to try and throw down some shots, if she would pop me it was excruciating. I'm not a quitter and I knew she had no ground game. I knew I could beat her on the ground with a submission. I had an arm choke but you kinda need your chin and your neck to secure that choke, so I couldn't really put any pressure into it to squeeze it. You scored some solid takedowns and kept Rose grounded well. However, she did outbox you and that's usually what weighs heavily on these judges' minds. Did you agree with the 30-27 scorecard from all three judges?
Couture: No, but I understood where they were coming from. I think they were initially shocked with all the blood. Honestly, when we stood back up I felt like I was standing on a boat. Everything was rocking and my equilibrium was pretty far off. I couldn't have boxed if there was a heavy bag standing in front of me. I couldn't really focus in on what was coming at me. All I wanted to do was get my hands on her and go to the clinch. There have been comments made publicly that the fight should have been stopped. Would you have been alright if the referee had stopped the fight at any point?
Couture: No. I'm glad that he didn't stop it. Luckily he wasn't a wimp like some of the other people would have been. He wasn't grossed out at all and he made a good call. I was fine, I was defending myself, but my equilibrium was off and I couldn't box at all. I knew that and I had plenty of other tools in my tool belt that I could have used other than standing there and trying to box when I couldn't even see straight. By the tone of your voice, you will be fighting again, correct? You aren't going to retire?
Couture: Yeah, I'll be back. I'll ask for a rematch because I know that I can beat this girl and I'm looking forward to that. I think under different circumstances next time, like fighting without a broken jaw, we'll have a great fight. I still think it was a good fight and we put on a good show. Besides the people being grossed out by the blood, people were happy with it. Local radio hosts Dave Cokin and Steve Cofield are big boxing and MMA guys, but they were appalled by the fight. They couldn't believe it wasn't stopped, and were blown away that Randy [Couture] didn't throw in the towel. They basically said you didn't belong in the ring. They took about 20 callers and not one person disagreed with them. What are your thoughts on the views of Cokin and Cofield, as well as everybody who called in to their show?
Couture: Those guys are really cool and I was on their show live (before the fight) and they are great guys. I think the issue is that guys have a problem with seeing girls get bloodied. My husband is not going to throw in the towel and I would have killed him if he would have. But people who are in this sport and do it for themselves know it's a completely different mindset. I don't have a problem with it and I don't mind getting a little blood on me. It doesn't effect anybody else so what do they care? It shouldn't get people so fired up when it doesn't bother me at all. I didn't want them to stop the fight and I wasn't asking for help and my husband wasn't even considering throwing in the towel because he knows how I am.

I didn't feel it went like how your story said. I didn't think I was getting beat for three rounds the entire fight. I felt like I was in control for most of the fight. I took her down at will and granted, the standing at the beginning of the rounds -- like I said my equilibrium was off -- but there have been boxers who have had their equilibriums off in the fourth or fifth rounds but went on to finish twelve full rounds. It's pretty common and you have to do this sport to understand it, but people shouldn't be so emotional if I don't have a problem with it.

I went back and watched the tape and I feel very confident in my performance considering what was going on with me at the time. I look at it with a different perspective, I don't know. I think everybody needs to take my word for it. [Laughs] I'm fine now. I've had broken bones in the past and blood doesn't freak me out at all. I just let bygones be bygones. I don't certainly tell them what they should have on their show or what you should be writing about. I was fine with my performance. Obviously I wanted to win, but that'll happen soon. This is just speculation, but in the third round while you two were on your feet, [Rose] landed some good punches that appeared to rock you. Randy was crouched near the ring apron with the white towel in his right hand. Did he have the notion to throw the towel?
Couture: I couldn't hear my corner at all. I know he said he had it ready just in case, but he knew that I could handle it. I'm not stupid. If I felt like I was in a situation where -- If you go back and watch the second and third rounds, there was never a time where I was in danger. I was taking her down, I was holding her down and I was working towards a submission. My submissions weren't working because I didn't have any neck or jaw strength. At the very end of the third round, I finally cleared my legs to where they needed to be. I had the arm choke and if I would have had five more seconds I would have finished her. In between rounds they asked if I was okay and I said I was fine. They asked if I wanted to continue and I was fine and I said I was going to beat this girl. If your corner asks if you want to continue, that's usually a sign that things aren't going so well.
Couture: They just wanted to know how bad my injuries were. I wasn't telling them that I was in any pain. All I remember saying is, "I think I lost a tooth," but they were like, "No, your teeth are all there." What did Randy and the rest of your corner say to you after the fight?
Couture: They were just proud of me. They were like, "I can't believe you went all three rounds!" They were three five-minute rounds and I wanted to do five-minute rounds. I was very proud of myself, too, but I obviously would have liked to have gotten the win. A couple of times you've stated that you controlled the second and third rounds. Do you think you won the fight and that you got robbed?
Couture: No, I don't think that I won the fight but I think the scoring could have been a little better. But I definitely don't think that I won. I knew late that there was something I needed to do to where the fight wouldn't be in the judges' hands to win that fight because I just know that judges get grossed out by blood. I'm sure it was hard for them to sit there and watch. But they don't see me in practice! I've gotten my nose bloodied and broken in practice. To me, it's no big deal but for everybody else, they're just not used to it. When you return to fighting, do you want to fight Kim Rose right away or would you prefer to fight a few other women first?
Couture: It doesn't matter because I'll fight whoever but I'd like to get that one out of the way so I can feel better about it. She's a great fighter and even though I said she cracked me when I was trying to touch gloves, I don't think she's a dirty fighter or tried to sucker punch me. I think it might have been her nerves because it was also her pro debut and I don't want my words to be misconstrued as [if] I'm disrespecting her or saying it was a cheap shot. I just wasn't expecting it. I know I can beat her and if she accepts a rematch, I'd love to fight her again and get it out of the way. I'm just playing it by ear and hoping for October, November, somewhere around there Kim, we appreciate you taking the time to interview with us again.
Couture: Thanks. I just want you to go back and re-watch the fight on tape. I promise you that you'll feel differently about the fight. I promise you that I'll go back and watch it again.
Couture: Thank you.
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