You know Bill, I was really just focused on stopping the blood from flowing.
By Bill Tibbs
Maxboxing caught up with Tyson Fury cut man Jorge Capetillo who played a huge role in the big Brit’s victory on Saturday, September 14th in Las Vegas taking control of a nasty gash that could have easily spelled an early night for Fury had Capetillo not been able to get a handle on the cut.
The final scorecards trumpeted heavyweight star Tyson Fury (29-0-1, 20 KO’s) as the winner over Swedish challenger Otto Wallin (20-1, 13 KO’s) at the T-Mobile Arena in Sin City. But, the night was loaded with lots of drama and the final judges’ tally didn’t tell the complete story.
Although the judges’ scores of 116-112, 117-111 and 118-110 all gave the nod to England’s Fury, a huge gash (and I mean 40+ stitches huge) that occurred in round 3, after a Wallin left hook ripped the skin over Tyson’s right eye open, had the action-packed bout on the verge of being stopped on several occasions.
What was supposed to be a tough (but not too tough) tune up for Fury, while he kept his engines revving for a Deontay Wilder rematch in February, turned into a long, arduous battle of attrition. Capetillo was doing everything he could to control the cut and allow Fury to stay in the fight, not giving the referee any reason to step in and stop it once the blood started to flow (and flow it did!).
With the nasty gash happening early in the fight, there was a lot of boxing left to do. All of a sudden the most important guy in the room became Capetillo who was going to earn his pay check and then some. Not only was there a lot riding on the cut with the potential stoppage in this fight, a TKO loss would certainly throw a wrench into the proposed February bout with Wilder for their much-anticipated return bout.
While the pressure was certainly on Capetillo to get the cut under control, there would be few who could have criticized him if he couldn’t have gotten a handle on the gash as it was as bad a cut, (or close to it), in as bad a place, as one will see in a boxing match. Short of the gash being right on the eyelid, this was about as bad a cut as you’ll see.
But, Capetillo did manage to get control of the cut, allowing Fury to survive and mount some serious offence to secure the victory in the 2nd half of the bout.
Since the fight, Capetillo has become somewhat of a hero having stepped under the spotlight, under the most pressure-filled of conditions, and saved the day for his fighter. Maxboxing caught up with the polite, somewhat shy and humble Capetillo from his home to get his reaction to what was certainly a trial by fire for the Las Vegas-residing, Mexico native.
Bill Tibbs: Hello, Jorge, thanks for taking a minute to chat.
Jorge Capetillo: No problem Bill, thank you, I’m happy to do it.
BT: Let’s get right to it. That was one nasty cut you were dealing with last Saturday.
JC: Oh man, it really was Bill, a very deep cut, about 2 inches deep. It was a bad cut.
BT: Did Tyson ever complain that he couldn’t see?
JC: Oh yes, it was bothering him but he fought like a warrior. It was Mexican Independence weekend and he really fought like a Mexican warrior, even with the bad cut.
BT: Did the cut get worse as the fight progressed or did it stay about the same size (but just bled a lot)?
JC: The size of the cut didn’t get really too much bigger, it was a very big cut right from the start but it was bleeding very badly throughout the fight as you could see. I’m not a doctor so is was hard for me to see if the cut was getting any deeper at the time. I was just trying to keep the bleeding under control.
BT: Tyson was winning the fight, except for a couple of spots where Wallin was really coming on, but were you worried the referee was going to stop it?
JC: Yes, that could have happened at anytime if the cut had gotten worse. Tyson was fighting hard and trying to not let it bother him, he was trying to show the referee that even though he was cut he was ok and could continue fighting.
BT: You have been working out of the Top Rank Gym for quite a while now. Did you connect with the Fury camp through them working out at the gym or were you on board with them before hand?
JC: Yes, I was working out of the Top Rank Gym for quite a while now. I work with former world champion Jessie Magdaleno, some other up and coming fighters and Tyson was working there. I had to learn how to handle cuts because not all of the fighters I worked with, the ones just starting out, could afford a cut man. So, it was important for me to be able to do this also so I could be as prepared to work in a corner as possible. So with Tyson working out a lot at the Top Rank Gym I was brought on board with them for the fight.
BT: Did you ever get the feeling Tyson was worried? Was he really thrown off by the cut?
JC: Tyson stayed very focused and calm despite having to deal with a bad cut. Most people know he is a boxer and can move in the ring but he showed how tough he can be when he has to be and he showed what a great heart he has. Despite the cut he maintained control at all times.
BT: With a cut that bad, is there anything at all you can really do to stem the flow of blood or is it really just a matter of keeping it cleaned up and then smother it in Vaseline and hope it holds?
JC: You can only try to control the bleeding. There is nothing you can really do to close the cut especially when you have an opponent punching at it and scraping his gloves on it. You just try to control the bleeding as best you can.
BT: The mic’s didn’t pick up everything in the corner but was there ever a point in the fight where (Tyson trainer, Ben) Davison said to Fury, ‘you have to go finish this guy’, (worried the ref was going to stop it)?
JC: Ben remained calm and in control at all times. Of course, he was aware of the bad cut and probably a bit concerned about it as we all were but he stayed focused and very calm and mature in the corner. He is a very good cornerman and he showed how calm and in control he can be on Saturday night, even in a tough circumstance like that.
BT: You were under incredible pressure in the corner, were you feeling that or were you able to maintain focus despite the severity of the cut?
JC: You know Bill, I was really just focused on stopping the blood from flowing. I realized it was a bad cut but I was really just so focused on doing my job at the time I didn’t really feel too much pressure, not because I didn’t know I was under pressure to do my job but because i was just really focused on the cut and stopping the blood flow.
BT: It may be too early to tell as I suppose changes can happen. But, is it safe to say you will be working his corner next fight? Has anyone spoken to you about that?
JC: I think I will work with them again. I think I did the best job I could and Tyson and Ben were just so kind and humble and welcoming to me in camp and in the fight. I spoke to Tyson the morning after the fight and he is a very kind and gracious man and he gave me a bonus and thanked me for the job I did.
BT: Jorge, you did a great job under very difficult circumstances. Congratulations on a job well done and thank you for taking a minute to chat.
JC: I just give the glory to God Bill. I am a believer and I thank God that I was blessed to work with a great champion like Tyson and a great trainer like Ben. They are very humble and kind people and I was happy to work with them and was blessed to be able to be part of the team and help them in any way that I could.
BT: Now that you’re a big star I hope you’ll still take my call next time I phone (laughing)?
JC: (Laughs). I am no star Bill, just a humble guy who is blessed. I thank God for that. But, I
promise you I will take your call (laughs).
BT: Thanks my friend, we’ll talk again.
JC: Thank you again Bill.