The date for the third Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder fight has changed yet again.
Promoter Bob Arum informed ESPN.com on Wednesday that Fury-Wilder III no longer is scheduled to take place December 19. The site for their third WBC heavyweight title fight still will be Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, the new home of the NFL’s Raiders, according to Arum.
The date for Fury-Wilder III has changed for the third time largely due to the loaded college football schedule the night of December 19. Numerous conference championship games will be played December 19, later than usual because FBS programs’ schedules were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ESPN and FOX, which will co-distribute Fury-Wilder III on pay-per-view, will air various college football championship games that day. Their executives advised Arum, whose company co-promotes Fury, and Al Haymon, who represents Wilder, to change the date of their third encounter in part because it’d have a better chance to attract more buys on another date.
Arum told ESPN.com it is possible Fury-Wilder III could take place earlier in December, not necessarily early in 2021.
“We’re moving off [December 19] because there’s five conference championship games that day and night, plus two NFL games,” Arum said. “So, we can’t go with the 19th. We’re looking at other dates right now because ESPN advised us, and FOX advised PBC [Haymon’s company]. … We’re looking at the schedule – PBC, FOX, ESPN and us – to pick a date.”
Fury, 32, and Wilder, 34, were tentatively scheduled to fight again July 20. The coronavirus crisis quickly shifted the date to October 3, which later was changed to December 19.
Their third fight never has been officially announced for any of those three dates.
England’s Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) stopped Alabama’s Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) in the seventh round of their rematch February 22 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Wilder and Fury fought to a split draw in their first fight – a 12-rounder in December 2018 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Arum added Wednesday that the site of Fury-Wilder III won’t change.
“It’s definitely Allegiant Stadium,” Arum said. “The Raiders are on board, the city is on board, the [Las Vegas] Convention [& Visitors] Authority is on board. Everybody is on board.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.