Tyson Fury seemed healthier to Bob Arum when they spoke on the phone Monday morning than when his co-promoter visited the WBC heavyweight champion Thursday in Las Vegas.
“His spirits were OK,” Arum told BoxingScene.com. “He had congestion in his chest [Thursday]. But as of [Monday] morning, he seems much better.”
Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs), who tested positive for COVID-19 a week ago, expects to fly home to England for a few weeks before returning to Las Vegas to continue training for his third fight against Deontay Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs). Arum anticipates that their third fight, which was scheduled for July 24 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, will be rescheduled for October 9 at T-Mobile Arena.
Arum added that the 32-year-old Fury must be fully vaccinated to move forward with a rescheduled fight with Wilder.
“He’s fine with it,” Arum said. “He got vaccinated in Miami. He got the first shot. And then he said he didn’t wanna get the second shot because he didn’t wanna get sick [from the vaccination] so close to the fight. So, he got COVID instead.”
Arum told a small group of reporters following a Fury-Wilder press conference June 15 in Los Angeles that Fury and Wilder were fully vaccinated in advance of their ESPN/FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event (https://www.boxingscene.com/arum-fury-wilder-fully-vaccinated-no-reason-teofimo-vaccinated--158443).
“I knew he had one shot, and I was hoping it was Johnson & Johnson,” Arum said. “But it wasn’t. It was Moderna.”
Only one dose of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine is required. Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two shots apiece for full effectiveness.
Fully vaccinated people still can contract COVID-19, though vaccines typically prevent patients from suffering serious symptoms that require hospitalization. Arum intimated that catching COVID-19 still would’ve kept a fully vaccinated Fury from training temporarily and would’ve caused a postponement of this third showdown with Wilder.
“I don’t know if the second shot would’ve meant anything because you still can get COVID after getting the second shot,” Arum said. “I don’t know if it would’ve made a difference, really. He still wouldn’t have been able to train with it.”
The 89-year-old Arum also revealed that another heavyweight his company promotes, Efe Ajagba, was temporarily hospitalized recently after he tested positive for COVID-19.
The Nigerian-born Ajagba (15-0, 12 KOs) is scheduled to face Cuba’s Frank Sanchez (18-0, 13 KOs) on the Fury-Wilder undercard. He sparred with Fury and, according to Arum, was among nine people within Fury’s camp that contracted COVID-19.
“Efe only spent a day in the hospital,” Arum said. “He feels great now.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.