The third fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will not take place on July 18 as originally scheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told Dan Rafael of ESPN.com as much Tuesday.
Rafael noted the fight is still on track to be the next matchup for both boxers, but it is being pushed back as the sports world reacts to the pandemic. Fury won their last matchup on Feb. 22 via knockout in the seventh round, and Wilder used his contractual right to an immediate rematch as a result.
You could not guarantee the fighters that the event would take place on that date, Arum said. We couldn’t convince them or ourselves. 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? It’s absolutely ridiculous to say the fight is on when the Brits can’t even get there.
He also raised the point that the MGM Grand in Las Vegas may not even be open at that stage considering casinos throughout the city are closed in response to the coronavirus. Fury will have an opportunity to remove any doubt about who the better fighter is whenever the third matchup happens.
The first bout ended in a controversial split draw in 2018, but Fury was dominant throughout the rematch. He was the more aggressive fighter out of the gates and dropped Wilder multiple times before registering the technical knockout win when the opponent’s side threw in the towel.