Liam Phipps told jurors he never touched a knife the night Shaun Bayliss was stabbed five times as violence erupted outside the Wrottesley Arms.
Mr Bayliss was rushed to hospital with wounds to his back and chest.
But giving evidence at Stafford Crown Court, Phipps said Mr Bayliss either had no idea who stabbed him or was blaming the wrong man.
Phipps pointed the finger at his cousin, Kamal Lodge, who was seen waving a knife around in the car park of the Wrottesley Arms just before Mr Bayliss was stabbed.
In a series of agreed facts, the jury was told that Lodge has already pleaded guilty to charges of assault, possessing an offensive weapon, a knife, and affray. He was arrested in Dudley Road, Wolverhampton, a couple of days after the incident on May 24.
The jury has heard that Mr Bayliss was stabbed after his friend Alex Bennett had been knocked out by Lodge.
The victim then floored Lodge and, according to the prosecution, was then stabbed by Phipps.
But Phipps said he had gone along with Lodge to back up his cousin and the only weapon he picked up was a discarded exhaust pipe.
He said: "As I got closer I saw Shaun Bayliss run out and hit Kamal, I think it was a punch.
"A lad from the group put his arm around me and asked what was going on.
"I was telling him 'I'm sorry, but he's drunk'. He pulled me down in a headlock and started punching me, about four or five times.
Phipps said the exhaust never made contact and they backed away. The first he knew about Mr Bayliss being stabbed was the next day.
Miss Narita Bahra, defending, asked him; "If you didn't stab Shaun Bayliss, do you know who did?"
He said: "The only reason is, he doesn't know who stabbed him, or he's scared of Kamal."
After police put out an appeal in the press, Phipps eventually handed himself in on June 2. He told the jury he had not gone to the police before because he was scared.
Phipps, aged 21, of High Street, Tettenhall, denies attempted murder and an alternative charge of wounding Mr Bayliss with intent to do him grievous bodily harm.
The trial continues.