Will Tyson Fury use his COVID-19 illness to swerve Deontay Wilder rematch?

By Boxing News - 07/10/2021 - Comments

By Jeff Aronow: Deontay Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel was not pleased with the learning of Tyson Fury testing positive for COVID-19 this week.  We don’t know if Fury and his team will use his illness to walk away from his rematch clause once the September 15th cutoff for the fight is eclipsed.

According to Finkel, the trilogy match between WBC heavyweight champion Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) and Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KOs) has been rescheduled for early October.  That’s if Fury doesn’t choose to escape the ruling by the arbitrator.

He says that the arbitrator’s September 15th cutoff for the Fury-Wilder III fight will be extended. He doesn’t see any problems with Fury or his promoters on agreeing to the extension.

Will Fury use COVID-19 illness to run out the clock?

With that said, if Fury and his promoter Bob Arum choose to walk away from the trilogy match once September 15th has passed, it’ll be interesting to see what Finkel and Wilder do about it.

Obviously, it would be a bad look on Fury’s part to take advantage of his COVID-19 illness to skip out on the third fight with Deontay, but with the money he can make fighting Anthony Joshua, can you blame him?

Image: Will Tyson Fury use his COVID-19 illness to swerve Deontay Wilder rematch?

Why risk losing out on the AJ money by facing Wilder when you use the COVID-19 illness as a way of circumventing the arbitrator’s ruling?

It would be a sneaky move by Fury and his team if he uses this as a way to walk away from the Wilder fight, but the money that Tyson will get fighting Joshua makes it worthwhile for him to go that route.

What upsets Finkel is that he was told by Fury’s promoter Bob Arum that Tyson had been vaccinated for COVID-19, and then it turns out he had only received one of two shots needed.

Finkel expects Fury’s team to agree to an extension

“Just like I told you, disappointing. We expected after all the battles, after the courtroom drama and everything in fifteen days, and it’s not happened. It’s disappointing,” said Wilder’s co-manager Shelly Finkel to Boxing Social on Fury’s COVID-19 positive test.

“Deontay will take a couple of days off and get back in training. It’s already been extended with the court,” said Finkel when asked about September 15th being the arbitrator’s cutoff date for when Fury and Wilder must fight. “I’m sure it will,” said Finkel asked if Fury and Bob Arum have agreed on the cutoff date being extended.

Finkel didn’t sound that confident when he said that he expects that Fury’s team will agree to the extension of the September 15th cutoff. What if they disagree? What happens then?

With all the money that Fury can get fighting Joshua, it doesn’t make sense for them to risk it by fighting Wilder. If they use Fury’s COVID-19 illness as a way out of the arbitrator’s ruling, it would be pure genius.

If they can use the September 15th cutoff as the last possible date for the Fury-Wilder fight to take place, they could be free to walk unless there’s something in the arbitrator’s ruling that says otherwise.

Arum said Fury had been vaccinated

“June 15th, Bob [Arum] put out a statement. Him and I had met at the press conference, and I told him that Deontay had two vaccinations already, and he said, ‘Oh, so did our camp,’ which is not true obviously,” said Finkel.

Image: Will Tyson Fury use his COVID-19 illness to swerve Deontay Wilder rematch?

“We waited a long time to get Fury like he was supposed to. We had to sue to get what was rightfully ours, and we got it. It’s not fun, but it goes with the territory.

“It’s just a matter of time before Fury has to face and the results will show what they are. We’re looking at early October,” Finkel said about when Fury and Wilder will be fighting.

If Fury can worm his way out of this fight with the September 15th extension elapsing, he can walk away and wait for Anthony Joshua to finish his business with Oleksandr Usyk.