Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder have a new date for their third fight, but organizers are insisting the move isn’t because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Fury-Wilder III is scheduled to take place on Oct. 3 in Las Vegas, according to The Athletic. The venue has yet to be selected, and the fight will be televised on pay-per-view via ESPN and Fox. The fight had previously been reported to be set for July 18.
Fury, the current WBC and lineal heavyweight champ, will reportedly receive 60 percent of the fighters’ cut of the revenue, while Wilder will receive 40 percent.
The new date comes just a day after it was reported the fight had been delayed due to the coronavirus, but The Athletic reports that the fight’s initial July 18 date was never actually scheduled. Organizers reportedly just prefer the fall as a time for the fight.
However, that report clashes with a quote from Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, who promotes Fury.
With the coronavirus situation so fluid, Arum told ESPN that they instead would look toward the fall to schedule the bout.
"Clearly not," Arum said of the bout being on July 18. "We don't even know if the MGM will even be open by then."
The truth could be somewhere in the middle; organizers may have had July 18 circled but not executed, and then something caused them to prefer the fall. That something might just be the global pandemic that has shut down the entire sports industry, but who can say for sure?
In the end, it’s probably just a fight of semantics and what it means to actually delay a fight.
A much more interesting fight should come on Oct. 3, when Wilder will try to avenge a lop-sided knockout loss at the hands of Fury. The pair’s initial fight was scored a controversial draw.
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