Arum: Wilder-Fury III To Be Delayed A Few Months
For years, fans of heavyweight boxing have had to wait for dream fights between Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury to take place. In 2018, Wilder and Fury fought to a draw, and when they finally rematched in February, Fury won via seventh round TKO.
After the fight, Wilder exercised his rematch clause, and the trilogy bout was on. Now, fans will have to wait longer than anticipated for that fight, but not because of boxing politics. Speaking with ESPN, Top Rank’s Bob Arum stated that the proposed July 18 bout from inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada might not happen due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“You could not guarantee the fighters that 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? It’s absolutely ridiculous to say the fight is on when the Brits can’t even get there.”
There are a number of factors that make Arum wary. Vegas has shut down all casinos, with a majority of them controlled by MGM Grand. In regards to travel, President Trump has enforced a travel ban that includes the United Kingdom. That would mean that Fury and a number of his people and fans would not be able to make it if it was to take place in America.
“We don’t even know if the MGM will even be open by then,” Arum went on to say.
Something else to consider: the Nevada Athletic Commission suspended all combat sports from taking place until March 25. Meant to reconvene this Wednesday, that meeting was cancelled due to the spread of the virus. It is unknown when they would meet again or when the virus will slow down.
Boxing is one of many entities in the sports world that has had to postpone or cancel events due to the coronavirus. Arum is taking this very seriously, postponing events until after April. He may even drop events further than that, including Wilder-Fury III. As to when the trilogy bout would take place, Arum doesn’t have a definitive answer, but anything is possible.
“So everybody has to take a step back. Boxing is not isolated. It’s part of what’s happening in the world,” Arum continued. “So possibly the fight will be in early October.”