Tyson Fury will use the services of cut-man Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran in his rematch against Deontay Wilder to prevent a repeat of the terrible slash that marred his last fight.
Fury overcame a bad cut above his right eye to outpoint Otto Wallin in September, which initially looked like it could disrupt plans to fight Wilder again.
But Fury has recovered and will challenge for Wilder’s WBC heavyweight championship on February 22 in Las Vegas, 14 months after they fought to a draw.
Eddie Hearn, who promotes Anthony Joshua, reacted to Fury’s win over Wallin: “He’s very lucky not to lose the fight with that cut. I think any other country in the world, they would have stopped the fight.”
Fury heads into the rematch with a new trainer, Sugarhill Steward, and will rely on renowned cut-man Duran to prevent another mid-fight crisis.
Duran described their link-up as “an honour”.
American veteran Duran has forged a career working with some of boxing’s biggest names, including Wladimir Klitschko who was rebuilt by Emanuel Steward, the Hall of Famer and uncle of Fury’s new trainer.
Duran explained his unique job to Sky Sports two years ago: “A doctor stops a fight when a fighter is at a disadvantage. My job, first and foremost, is to eliminate any disadvantage. My job is to give them one more round.
“I focus on the cut and look into a fighter’s eyes – if I notice he is not capable, then I make recommendations [to stop] to the coach. You have to make split-second decisions.
“My job is not to give instructions but usually, when I say something, guys know there’s a lot of truth to it.”