Fury tests positive for COVID-19, forcing change in third fight with Wilder
July 09 (THEWILL) – Boxing fans will still have a long wait for one of the most anticipated heavyweight fights of the year as a positive return to the COVID-19 test for the British World Boxing Council heavyweight champion (WBC) Tyson Fury means the originally scheduled July 24th fight against American Deontay Wilder has been postponed.
Their fight at T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas will have to be set for another date taking care not to conflict with Olympic events and the other heavyweight fight expected on September 25 between the British World Boxing Organization (WBO ), the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion Anthony Joshua and WBO mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk.
One possible date that may be considered in the fight schedule is October 9, as the schedule is loaded after the Olympics with Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao taking on Errol Spence Jr. in their pay-per-view fight on the 21st. August, and Mexican unified super middleweight world champion Canelo Alvarez was scheduled to fight Caleb Plant in the second week of September.
The positive cases were said to have spread throughout Fury’s camp with several positive test results. All boxing-related activities have been closed and the camp closed. The implication is that the British boxer will most likely return to solitary confinement in England until a new date is set and he can start a new preparation program.
This is another chapter in the never-ending history of Fury versus Wilder, now in its third phase and Wilder manager Shelly Finkel said: “Deontay is disappointed”, especially since so many things had been put in the date of July 24, with a lot of time and material investment to prepare.
THEWILL recalls that Fury beat Wilder to become WBC champion in February 2020 in Las Vegas, 14 months after the duo shared an exciting Los Angeles draw at Staples Center. Since that February fight, none of the boxers have fought.
Attempts for a third fight have repeatedly failed due to complications from the COVID-19 pandemic. Then Fury looked to move forward and face fellow Briton Joshua, who holds the other three important heavyweight titles for a highly promoted unification fight.
However, as THEWILL reported, an arbitration hearing ruled that Wilder had contractual grounds for a third competition and imposed a deadline before the July 24 date was set and preparations had actually started, only for Fury to test positive.