The biggest fight of 2020 in boxing thus far was the second meeting between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder for the WBC heavyweight championship. After a draw in their first bout, Fury dominated Wilder, staggering him early and, eventually, earning a TKO victory in the seventh round after Wilder’s corner threw in the towel as he was being battered against the ropes.
Fury continues on as the lineal heavyweight champion and added the WBC belt as a physical title and it didn’t take long for Wilder to utilize his rematch clause for a trilogy fight. The planned date for the bout was July 18, likely back in Las Vegas, but as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to grow exponentially in the United States, even that date was far from safe. On Tuesday, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told ESPN’s Dan Rafael that the bout will be moved to later in the year due to the outbreak in hopes of having a full arena for the fight.
“You could not guarantee the fighters that the event would take place on that date. We couldn’t convince them or ourselves,” Arum said. “Where were they going to train for it? It just made no sense. You just have to take a step back. How are you going to sell tickets? It’s absolutely ridiculous to say the fight is on when the Brits can’t even get there.”
Thousands of fans from Fury’s home country of England traveled to the United States for the rematch as well as for the first fight, a controversial split draw in 2018, in Los Angeles.
“So everybody has to take a step back. Boxing is not isolated. It’s part of what’s happening in the world,” Arum said. “So possibly the fight will be in early October.”
As Arum notes, Fury has a legion of loyal fans that will travel in from overseas for fights, and right now, even if the casinos in Las Vegas were to reopen by July, there’s no guarantee travel restrictions would be lifted. As of now, being proactive in pushing the bout back before camps begin and the actual promotion begins is the wise choice. Hopefully that October date can be utilized.