As with any boxing match, there are various things that could cause a postponement of the third bout between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
Bob Arum is completely confident that COVID-19 has been eliminated from that list of potential complications. Arum, whose company co-promotes Fury, confirmed to a group of reporters after a press conference Tuesday in Los Angeles that Fury and Wilder have been fully vaccinated in advance of their third heavyweight title fight July 24 in Las Vegas.
“We tell all our fighters – you guys are fighting for big money and promoters are laying out big money,” Arum said. “Get yourself vaccinated, so you don’t [contract] the COVID. Now, you take the two fighters here, Fury is totally vaccinated. And I talked with [manager] Shelly Finkel a little while ago, and he said that Wilder’s been fully vaccinated. And their corners have been vaccinated. That’s taking responsibility.”
Another high-profile fighter Arum’s company promotes, Teofimo Lopez, tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.
Lopez’s diagnosis caused the undefeated, unified lightweight champion to withdraw from his 12-round, 135-pound title fight against George Kambosos Jr., a Triller Fight Club pay-per-view main event that was scheduled for Saturday night at loanDepot Park in Miami. The Lopez-Kambosos bout was rescheduled for August 14 at an undetermined venue, but Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) will have to wait two more months to earn a career-high purse in excess of $3.9 million.
Arum admonished the 23-year-old Lopez for not getting vaccinated before he began training camp in Las Vegas to battle Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs).
“Now Teofimo, you know, he was off with this Triller thing and so forth,” Arum said. “There was no reason why before he went into training that he didn’t get vaccinated. No reason! And if he had gotten vaccinated, he wouldn’t have lost his payday. So, I feel sorry for him, but the fight will happen.
“But again, this is different from when we first went into the bubble last June and we had every other fight with a guy getting COVID because nobody really knew how to handle it. But now, with the vaccination, anybody gets COVID, shame on them. Shame on them, because they hadn’t taken the time or they hadn’t, for some crazy reason, decided not to get vaccinated. That’s nuts!”
England’s Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) and Alabama’s Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) will headline an ESPN/FOX Sports pay-per-view event five weeks from Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. Fury will make the first defense of the WBC belt he won when he stopped Wilder in the seventh round of their rematch in February 2020 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.