Lee Dawson, described by his family as a 'big friendly giant', was found with stab wounds to his chest in Jutland Street at around 3am on Friday (June 17).
The 42-year-old, originally from Preston but living in Sunderland, was taken to Royal Preston Hospital for treatment but later died.
Seven men – aged between 18 and 31 – were arrested over the weekend on suspicion of murder but five have been released on bail pending further enquiries.
Police say two of the suspects, aged 20 and 29, remain in custody as police continue with their murder investigation.
In a tribute, Mr Dawson’s family said: “Lee loved his children deeply and would do anything for them. He had a strong heart and stronger head.
"He was a big friendly giant. Once you had Lee as a friend you had a friend for life.
"He lived life to the full and will be greatly missed by all of his family and friends.”
A Home Office post-mortem examination confirmed Mr Dawson died as a result of stab wounds.
Police have urged anyone who saw anything suspicious in and around the Jutland Street area before or after the attack to come forward.
Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting log 0149 of June 17.
Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
You can also click HERE to upload any CCTV footage that might help police with their investigation.