TONY JEFFRIES is back on Wearside after surgery in America on his damaged left eye.
The Sunderland super-middleweight – trained in Los Angeles by Tommy Brooks, a former mentor of Mike Tyson – suffered a serious cut when he was head-butted by Belfast’s Tommy Tolan in his last contest.
It needed 18 stitches immediately after the fight, but re-opened up during training in LA and Jeffries consulted top Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Paul Wallace.
“When I got the stitches out after the Tolan fight I was left with a big lump of scar tissue,” Jeffries told the Echo last night after arriving back home in Sunderland.
“I was told it was going to be a weakness so the plan was to have another fight, probably in April, and then have surgery to clean up the scar tissue.
“But I was sparring last week and the cut opened again. I’m absolutely gutted.
“I’ll not be able to fight for at least three months, but I’ve been to one of the top surgeon’s for this type of injury and he’s confident that things will heal a lot better this time and it will be as strong as it was before the Tolan fight.”
Jeffries knocked out Tolan just over a minute into the second round of their contest on December 15, but not before the Ulsterman’s roughhouse tactics had taken their toll.
“Tolan was a dirty fighter and it was a deliberate headbutt as far as I’m concerned,” he said.
“I got back in training and I was feeling really good again. I’m getting more power into my punches and I was really looking forward to the next fight.
“I’m not going to sit around. I’ve come home for a few weeks but I’ve got a training programme from Tommy and I’ll be able to do everything except spar.
“Dr Wallace has cut out the old scar tissue and I’m pleased we got this sorted out now.”
Wallace has treated both of the Klitschko brothers and is perhaps best known in the boxing world for being the ringside doctor who stopped a 2003 encounter in favour of Lennox Lewis after Vitali Klitschko suffered a cut.
“I’m in safe hands,” added Jeffries. “With this surgeon and Tommy working hard on me in the gym, I’m really confident about how it’s going.”