The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has thrown the world of boxing into chaos as the third fight in Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder’s heavyweight rivalry suffers the brunt of a postponement.
This as the pandemic grips the United States and Britain, ESPN reported on Tuesday. Fury, who dethroned Wilder – then-unbeaten WBC champion – with a dominant victory in seven rounds last month, had been due to defend his crown in Las Vegas on July 18, this year. Wilder’s team activated the rematch clause which was available to them not long after the spectacle in Las Vegas on February 22.
Wilder later blamed his elaborate ring-walk costume – which featured armour, a mask and a crown, altogether weighing at least 40 pounds (18.1kg). The American boxing promoter, Bob Arum, told ESPN the rematch had now been rescheduled until October at the earliest, as a result of the swooping coronavirus which has brought the sporting world to its knees.
Travel restrictions which have been imposed in both the United States and Britain made a postponement the only viable option, according to Arum. “You could not guarantee the fighters the event would take place on that date. We couldn’t convince them or ourselves,” Arum said.
“Where were they going to train for it? It just made no sense. You just have to take a step back. How are you going to sell tickets?” added Arum. Fury and Wilder fought to a thrilling draw in their first fight in Los Angeles in December 2018 before Fury shocked the boxing world by overwhelming Wilder with a dominant performance in their come-back fight last month; battering an out-of-sorts Wilder in a one-sided victory.