(Reuters) - The anticipated third bout between heavyweights Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder will be pushed back from July 18 due to the coronavirus pandemic and possibly rearranged for October, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told ESPN on Tuesday.
Britain’s Fury stopped American Wilder in the seventh round of their Feb. 22 rematch in Las Vegas to capture the WBC title and remain undefeated from 31 fights, after battling Wilder to a draw in their first encounter in 2018.
Wilder called for a rematch but with Las Vegas casinos shut and travel from Europe to the U.S. suspended in an effort to slow the spread of the virus, Arum said there is no way the fight can go forward as scheduled at the MGM Grand.
“Clearly not,” Arum, Fury’s co-promoter with Frank Warren, told ESPN when asked about the bout being held on July 18.
“We don’t even know if the MGM will even be open by then.
“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.”
In their first two fights, a large contingent of vocal British fans packed the arenas to support Fury, known as the “Gypsy King”.
“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.”
Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Toby Davis