Tyson Fury had a debt of gratitude to pay the cut-man who stitched up his worst-ever wound, and paid with a generous gesture at the most needy time.
Jorge Capetillo was in Fury’s corner and dealt with the terrible cut he sustained during last year’s win against Otto Wallin.
The bloody injury was a major crisis that Fury overcame and, afterwards, Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn said: “I think any other country in the world, they would have stopped the fight.”
Thanks to Fury’s bravery and Capetillo’s role in stemming the bleeding, a disaster was averted.
“He is still very grateful,” Capetillo told Sky Sports. “When he knew we were locked down because of Covid-19 and my gym was closed, he texted me and said: ‘Is there anything I can do to help?’
“He is still taking care of me. He sent me money.
“I was supposed to be with Jessie Vargas in New York on March 14 but the fight was cancelled and I came home with empty pockets. I was scared, I didn’t know what to do.
“He knew Jessie’s fight was cancelled. He asked about my family and what he could do. He said: ‘I’ll sort out some money for your family so you can be good’.
“Such generosity for me and my family.
“He is a great man, so humble. He had the time to ask how I was doing with my family during this crisis.”
Fury rebounded from his close-call against Wallin to comprehensively defeat Deontay Wilder for the WBC heavyweight championship.
Asked if his role enabled Fury to achieve greatness, Capetillo said: “If anybody saved it, it was God!
“We all go through tough moments and that was his.
“Round by round I knew that I just needed to give him one more round and he would win the fight. I was telling him: ‘You are the better fighter’.
“He has gone through difficult things in fights. That makes him, in life, a better man and a better fighter.
“It was the worst cut I’ve ever seen and I hope it stays the worst cut I see.
“My feeling? I had to keep calm and transmit that we had everything under control. He needed secureness.
“I controlled the bleeding and told him: ‘Everything will be good’.
“It’s a blessing and an honour to be around Tyson Fury.
“I will always be grateful to him. I’ll always be here for him, anything I can help with.
“I am very happy to see him be so happy with his family. He has become a great family man, a great man of faith, a great boxer, a great champion. He has conquered it all.
“He is a champion in the ring and a champion of life.
“I have a lot of love for him.”
After beating Wallin, Fury changed his training team and replaced trainer Ben Davison with Sugarhill Steward. In turn, Capetillo’s role was replaced by Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran.
Stitch paid credit to his predecessor Capetillo: “I knew straight away it was a bad, bad cut.
“People forget there were actually two cuts.
“In the days after I met with Jorge. Considering the circumstances he passed the test, became a hero and saved the test.
“He brought out the importance of being a good cut-man.”
The build-up to Fury’s rematch with Wilder became about whether the old injury had enough time heal and was liable to reopen.
“Everybody was concerned except Fury and I,” Stitch said.
“The whole team, including his brothers, were glad to have me on board. It was the most rational thing they could have done, to bring me in. The Fury team understood that.
“I looked at his cuts. The doctor who did the sewing did a tremendous job. The biggest and most important cut? You could barely see it.
“I told Fury: ‘I am here for maintenance. I use ice every round. My job is for you to walk out as handsome as you walked in’.
“I tried to form a fatherly type of bond because, although these guys are gladiators, on the inside they are babies.
“Our first conversation was about when he fought Wladimir Klitschko. I was in Wladimir’s corner.
“I told Fury: ‘I thought Wladimir just had a bad day against you’.
“But I saw Fury against Wilder [the first time] and became an instant fan, I knew it was no fluke.
“I saw Fury doing in the gym exactly what he did on the night against Wilder.
“I’ve been at a lot of great events with great fighters in historic events, but Tyson Fury? That took me to a new level.
“It was a fun, electrifying, adrenaline-fuelled two weeks that I spent with him.”