By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Lineal World Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and ten members of his boxing team have tested positive for the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. The development has caused an official postponement of the Tyson Fury versus Deontay Wilder trilogy third meeting World Boxing Council World Heavyweight title championship bout from July 24, 2021, to October 9, 2021, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The arbitrator’s court ruling gave the latest possible date of September 15, 2021, for the mandatory second rematch between Fury and Wilder to take place. With October 9, 2021, beyond the court ordered latest possible date, the Wilder camps could make a mutual agreement to accept the Fury compromise date of October 9, 2021. One variation of this proposal would be to change the pre-agreed purse cut division of 60/40 for Fury to be more in Wilder’s favor with promoter Top Rank, to prevent Fury from getting stripped of the title, or triggering further court actions to interpret both the date and the impact of one fighter getting the Coronavirus. At issue is whether or not Fury, as well as the ill members of his entourage, make a full recovery well enough to return to training camp to resume normal fight preparations.
Fury, 30-0-1 with 21 knockouts, The Gypsy King”, Winslow, Cheshire, United Kingdom, was scheduled to fight the other paper champion, WBA WBO IBF and IBO World Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, before the courts ordered him to fight Wilder, 42-1-1 with 41 knockouts, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for the third time. British heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte has offered to step in and fight Wilder in Fury’s place on July 24, 2021. Whyte versus Wilder would not be a title bout. Wilder is unlikely to take a risk bout with Whyte this month on short notice against a dangerous opponent, with so much guaranteed money still at stake in the third Fury bout. As it stands, both Fury and Wilder will have been inactive for 10 months by the time the third meeting between the two combatants takes place.
Whyte knocked out Alexander Povetkin in a rematch earlier this year, a rematch tainted by Povetkin’s incomplete recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. As such, if Fury does not make a full recovery and enters the ring less than one hundred percent, Wilder’s hard work and hunger could give him a far better chance against Fury in October 2021 than a July date would have. The Manny Pacquiao versus Errol Spence Jr. World Welterweight championship unification bout is the best bout on the table in the summer of 2021 at this point. The medical long term prognosis for Fury is still not known.