- Lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has tested positive for COVID-19, as have multiple others in his camp.
- The rematch with Deontay Wilder scheduled for July 24 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas has been postponed.
- The tentative timeframe for the rescheduled fight will be sometime in October.
The biggest fight of the summer is off–though it will likely become the biggest fight of the fall. Boxing writer Dan Rafael was the first to report that lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has tested positive for COVID-19 along with a number of others in his camp. As a result, the rematch with Deontay Wilder scheduled for July 24 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas has been postponed.
Mexican superstar Canelo Alverez is likely the reigning PPV king but the ‘Gypsy King’ is no slouch either at delivering PPV buys and putting butts in the stands. The February 2020 second fight between Fury and Wilder drew a huge gate at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas–in fact, the $16,916,440 is a Nevada record for a heavyweight title fight. The now postponed rematch is slated for the T-Mobile Arena which holds 20,000 for boxing (approximately 5,000 more than the MGM Grand) and suggests that the gate for the previous fight could be exceeded. The PPV broadcast of Fury-Wilder II did close to 900,000 buys at $79.99 a pop.
The original plan for Fury was to fight fellow Englishman Anthony Joshua on August 14 in Saudi Arabia. That was before independent arbitrator Daniel Weinstein determined that Fury owned Wilder a rematch per the contractual clauses in the previous fight. Wilder said at the time that he wasn’t concerned about Fury trying to negotiate another fight:
“I didn’t feel any way about Fury trying to negotiate another fight. We knew we were in the right and we knew they couldn’t run.”
The first fight between Fury and Wilder took place in December 2018 and was ruled a draw. The fight was admittedly tough to score with Fury likely outpointing Wilder despite suffering two knockdowns–including one in the final round that no human should have been able to get up from:
The second fight took place in February 2020 and was all Fury. The ‘Gypsy King’ knocked Wilder down twice before cornerman Mark Breland threw in the towel in the 7th round:
Fury is an amazingly good tactical boxer for a man his size as well as a strong defensive fighter. The intrigue to justify a third fight is the fact that Wilder is arguably the hardest hitter in the heavyweight division at the moment. His career record makes that evident: 42-1-1 with 41 wins coming by knockout:
The new date of the third fight should be in October but is a bit tricky due to the many other fights and other events scheduled for Las Vegas. Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence Jr. are fighting on August 21 at the T-Mobile Arena. Canelo Alverez is expected to face an as of yet unknown opponent in a venue ‘TBA’ in the second or third week of September. It won’t be the first weekend of October as Alanis Morissette already has the T-Mobile Arena booked. With the NHL targeting an October 12 start date for the 2021-2022 season promoters will also have to work around the needs of the Vegas Golden Knights (though since the schedule hasn’t been set yet that’s do-able).