The biggest heavyweight fight of the summer has been postponed. Tyson Fury has tested positive for COVID-19, and his fight against Deontay Wilder will be rescheduled for later this year, confirmed sources to ESPN.
The match was originally scheduled for July 24 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with the broadcast on both Fox and ESPN + pay-per-view. Sources told ESPN that a weekend in October is the new targeted date with Manny Pacquiao-Errol Spence Jr. PPV on August 21
Sources said several people in Fury’s camp have tested positive. Fury is likely to return to England and eventually return to the United States for camp when the time comes.
“It was a crazy roller coaster ride against this game,” Fury said at last month’s Los Angeles press conference to promote the game. “I always say, ‘You never fight with anyone until you’re in the ring with them.'”
Fury and Wilder have already met twice. The first match came in December 2018 and ended with a disputed draw. Despite Fury being hit by two knockdowns – including one in the final round – most observers thought he deserved a nod.
“Gypsy King” left no doubt in the rematch in February 2020 and even scored two knockdowns en route to a seventh round after Wilder’s corner kick, Mark Breland, threw in the towel.
Neither Fury, 32 nor Wilder have appeared in the ring since. Wilder, 35, exercised his contractual right to a third match afterwards, but the pandemic prevented Top Rank (Fury’s promoter) and PBC from staging the match for a full audience.
The gate to the second fight generated $ 16,916,440 – a Nevada record for a heavyweight title fight. Pay-per-view, priced at $ 79.99, raked in nearly 900,000 purchases, sources told ESPN.
Top Rank and PBC tried to end the match last December after a previously scheduled October date was considered impossible due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the unexpected resumption of the college football season left few PPV dates available in the last month in 2020 with two networks involved.
Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) and his team then considered the rematch clause had expired and pushed forward with negotiations over a megafight with Englishman Anthony Joshua, who would crown an undisputed heavyweight champion. The parties agreed on a deal in May, with Fury announcing on May 16 that the match would take place on August 14 in Saudi Arabia.
In the background, an independent arbitrator, Daniel Weinstein, decided whether Fury actually owed Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) a third match. Top Council President Bob Arum was fired, as was his stepson, top-ranking President Todd duBoef. So too were PBC founder Al Haymon, Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel and PBC director Bruce Binkow. Fury and Wilder also gave deposits.
On May 17, a day after Fury announced he would meet Joshua in August, Weinstein decided he owed Wilder another fight.
“I did not feel any way Fury was trying to negotiate another match,” Wilder told a news conference in Los Angeles last month. “We knew we were right and we knew they could not run.”
Now Wilder will have to wait a little longer for this chance of revenge.
Fury’s positive test was first reported by Dan Rafael.