Jacob "Stitch" Duran, the legendary cutman who has worked in boxing and UFC, has just about seen it all in the fight game.

He's appeared in Rocky movies, worked with Wladimir Klitschko for a long time – including when he lost his world titles to Tyson Fury in Germany in 2015 – and worked with Fury for the first time in Las Vegas last weekend when the self-styled Gypsy King dismantled Deontay Wilder.

And now Duran is returning to Joseph Parker's corner – the first time he was worked with the New Zealander since helping him during during a difficult fight against Marcelo Nascimento in Germany in 2014, a fight Parker won by knockout but only after suffering a perforated eardrum.

Cutman Jacob 'Stitch' Duran attends to boxer Ishe Smith. Photo / Getty
Cutman Jacob 'Stitch' Duran attends to boxer Ishe Smith. Photo / Getty

Parker's keenness to work with veteran Duran, now 68, for his fight against Shawndell Winters in Frisco, Dallas, is a testament to his willingness to throw everything into the next stage of his professional career as he attempts to win another world title.


Previously Kevin Barry, with whom Duran is close, Barry's brother Bryan and Barry's son Taylor have served as cutmen for Parker. Parker's brother John will be the third man in his corner.

"He's been around a long time," Parker said. "He was in the Fury corner. I think it's time for us to get the experience – because you never know. Kevin has done a great job – like in the Afa Tatupu fight [in 2013, when he suffered a bad cut over an eye].

"I think having both of them will be very beneficial."

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The admiration is mutual. Duran, who praised Parker's toughness and calmness after battling his ear injury to comprehensively beat Nascimento, only works with people he likes. Duran is also working the corner of Jessie Vargas tomorrow; Vargas is challenging Mikey Garcia for a WBC welterweight title.

"I love that kid," he said of Parker. "We're like family and he can fight. When I got the call from Kevin and these guys to work the corner, I didn't hesitate at all. I look forward to hopefully establishing a long relationship. He's a good kid and for me it's not about how they fight – everybody I work with fights – but it's their character that makes me want to work with him."

Joseph Parker and Shawndell Winters face off. Photo / Supplied
Joseph Parker and Shawndell Winters face off. Photo / Supplied

Parker has had no recent history of bad cuts, but doesn't want to cut corners, as it were.

Fury, on the other hand, needed Duran's experience and skill in case a cut caused by previous opponent Otto Wallin proved to be an issue as he fought Wilder for the WBC world title. As it happened, Wilder hardly landed a glove on him, but Duran's value was in his psychological reassurance.


"I worked with Vladimir Klitschko when he lost to Tyson Fury and at that point I just thought Klitschko had a bad day," he said when asked about being ringside last weekend at the MGM Grand. "But then when I saw him fight Deontay Wilder I understood why because his style of fighting – you can't duplicate it.

"What they did in the ring sparring they actually did in the fight. By the third round I thought there was no way Wilder would knock him out. He had his number big time."

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Duran added that Barry's son Taylor, who knows Fury – as does Parker – helped arrange the Fury gig by being the go-between.

"All of a sudden Taylor called and said 'look man, we have a contract. Here is the money they're going to pay you, let me set up a meeting so you can meet Tyson Fury'. So he was like my agent."

Joseph Parker's fight against Shawndell Winters on the undercard of the Mikey Garcia v Jessie Vargas main event will be screened by Sky Arena on Sunday. Parker is due to fight at 2pm nzt.
- Patrick McKendry travelled to Dallas with assistance from Duco Events.