With each passing day of the coronavirus pandemic, the trilogy between WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder appears less likely that it will take place in 2020.
Fury co-promoter Bob Arum originally tabbed July 18 in Las Vegas as the date for the third fight before coronavirus shut down the United States, and The Strip altogether.
Arum offered a back-up plan and date of Oct. 3 shortly afterward, and now, that date is no longer a valid one either.
“I talked to Tyson Fury on Sunday and I told him the earliest I thought the fight could happen is November. Who knows even about November?” Arum told BoxingScene.com in an interview. “Obviously, we cannot do Fury and Wilder without an audience. If you are going to do it with an audience, are people going to be willing to get on a plane and come to Las Vegas? So many of the fans come from the UK. A lot of that has to be taken into account. Maybe it doesn’t happen until next year.”
Like millions of others in the world, Arum is stuck at home in quarantine working the phones and trying to find solutions. In regard to hosting shows with fans, he’s going to follow the lead of the NFL and NBA to see how he should move forward as well with his boxing business.
As soon as that’s solidified, he can move forward with a new date for Fury and Wilder.
“This is how the world is developing, and I don’t have all of the answers, or part of the answers,” said Arum. “These are not boxing questions anymore … We’re not [UFC president] Dana White. We’re going to proceed consciously with the regulations of states so participants are protected during these trying times. We’re not going to go off on our own and say, ‘the show must go on.’ The show doesn’t have to go on.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com and currently does TV commentary for combat sports programming that airs on Fox Sports and hosts his own radio show in Los Angeles. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.