Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III being moved off Dec.19th date

By Boxing News - 09/30/2020 - Comments

By Jim Maltzman: Bob Arum says he’s planning on moving the trilogy fight between WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder from December 19th to possibly earlier in the month. Arum is moving the Fury-Wilder III fight date because of American football that will conflict with it on that Saturday.

It’s still possible that the fight between the two giant heavyweights Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) and Fury 30-0, 1 KOs) could end up being pushed to 2021. The chances of the contest taking place in front of a live crowd increase if it’s moved to 2021, but the fight will need to occur early in the year.

Fury is under contract to face IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua twice next year. For the Fury-Joshua match to take place two in 2021, it’s imperative that Arum schedule the Wilder trilogy bout no later than February.

December 19th date won’t work

The Top Rank promoter Arum already has a fight scheduled on December 12th between WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt and Oscar Valdez on December 12th so that that day won’t work. If Arum sticks with December, then the 5th could be where he places the Fury vs.Wilder match.

Image: Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III being moved off Dec.19th date

“We’re moving off because there’s five conference championship games that day and night, plus two NFL games,” Arum said to ESPN. “So we can’t go with the 19th; we’re looking at other dates right now because ESPN advised us, and Fox advised the PBC [which promotes Wilder].”

Fury vs. Wilder could take place “a little earlier in December,” Arum continued. “We’re looking at the schedule — PBC, Fox, ESPN and us — to pick a date.”

It’s not a safe bet that Fury and Wilder will be able to take place in front of a live crowd even if Arum pushes it back to February. There’s no vaccine ready for release in the United States, and the coronavirus cases are expected to surge during the fall months. Without a vaccine, it’s unlikely that Nevada will allow fans back in live sporting events in early 2021.

It’s understandable why Arum would want to delay the Fury vs. Wilder rematch. Last February, their second fight brought in a gate of $16,916,440 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. That’s almost $17 million. How do you replace that kind of revenue if there’s no live crowd? The fact is, you can’t.

What’s more, there’s likely to be less interest from boxing fans purchasing the third Fury vs. Wilder bout because the second fight was so one-sided. In their rematch earlier this year on February 22d, Fury dominated Wilder, dropping him in round three and five before stopping him in the seventh.

Fans don’t want to see Fury vs. Wilder 3

The boxing public is already saying that they don’t want to see a third Wilder vs. Fury fight. Additionally, many people don’t have money to purchase the trilogy bout between Deontay and Fury due to the high unemployment as a result of the pandemic.

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Fans have less money to spend now, and they’re going to think twice before throwing their dough away on watching those two giant heavyweights do it again.

Frankly, the U.S audience is tired of seeing Wilder and Fury fight each other. They want Fury to face Joshua already, as the contest has marinated way too long.

“It’s definitely Allegiant Stadium,” Arum said. “The Raiders are on board, the city is on board, the convention authority is on board. Everybody is on board.”

Fury and Wilder are under contract for the third fight, so it’s one that can’t be avoided. Wilder has already executed his rematch clause in the contract, and he’s not likely to change his mind. Even if Wilder doesn’t believe he can win, he’s going to take the match and give it his best try.

Arum would have already gotten the Wilder fight out of the way in the summer if not for the pandemic. There was no way of staging it during the start of the pandemic.

Many boxing fans think that arum is deliberately delaying the Fury vs. Wilder fight in hopes of staging it in front of a live crowd. If one of the states allows living boxing in December, January, or February, that will make arums very happy.

Image: Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III being moved off Dec.19th date

The longer that Top Rank delays the Fury-Wilder fight, the better the chances of it taking place in front of fans. Also, event organizers in an outside country could pop up and volunteer to host the Fury vs. Wilder 3 fight in the fall and offer a large site fee.