The trilogy match between former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury is being moved from July 18 to October 3. Mike Coppinger of The Athletic is reporting that the October 3 date is now when the contest will potentially be taking place, but what’s interesting is he’s saying it’s NOT due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fury vs. Wilder III wasn’t even scheduled for the 18th of July. That was supposed to have been the final date for the contest to have taken place, but obviously that can’t happen. Boxing has been shut down by the coronavirus situation.
Officially, the reason for the new date for the Fury vs. Wilder 3 fight isn’t because of the coronavirus, but the fact that Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is saying that Tyson’s British boxing fans can’t fly over to the U.S due to travel restrictions suggests that the COVID 19 pandemic is the root of the cause for the new date.
Arum doesn’t know whether the fight could take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas if they stuck to the July 18 date, and again that’s related to the coronavirus. The strip is shut down now and who knows when it’ll be opening back up.
You have to take whatever takes are thrown out there for the Fury vs. Wilder 3 fight with a grain of salt because you can’t predict what’s going to happen that far out into the future. With the rate that the COVID 19 is spreading in the U.S, it’s improbable that we’ll see Fury and Wilder battling in October unless it’s behind closed doors.
If this was a situation where they could test fans at the door like in the Will Smith movie, ‘I Am Legend,’ then that would make a Fury vs. Wilder fight doable for October 3. But in the absence of that, it’s a huge question mark whether the third fight between the giant heavyweights will take place on October 3.
Unless a vaccine can be created in the next seven months by the time Wilder and Fury fight, we could see this fight postponed. You hate to say it but it doesn’t look good right now. In the best possible world, the coronavirus will mutate to a harmless state like the lethal 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, but it’s not something you can predict. The Spanish Flu lasted for approximately three years.
A good idea would be for the event organizers to put Fury vs. Wilder 3 behind closed doors, and then test everyone that works the fight. With the pay-per-view money that can be made from the contest, it would be worth it. Yeah, they’ll lose out on the gate money by having the fight behind closed doors, but if the fight can’t happen in an arena due to the coronavirus, then the only option is to stage it inside a studio.
If the virus stays around for years and years, then boxing and other sporting events will need to adjust to being staged behind closed doors. You can only imagine what an NFL or MLB game would be like without a live crowd there to watch the players. Likewise, it was strange to watch a mega-fight boxing match without a crowd present.
Perhaps they can use canned cheering and applause like we saw in the 50s and 60s with television programs with laugh tracks. If the only safe way of keeping boxing alive is to stage behind closed doors, then the promoters will have no other option but to take the sport inside.