Tyson Fury’s world heavyweight title defence against Deontay Wilder, originally scheduled for 24 July, has officially been postponed after Fury tested positive for coronavirus.
It was reported last week that Fury had contracted Covid-19, with the news confirmed on Thursday by the British boxer’s US-based promoter Top Rank on Thursday. The fight will now take place on 9 October at the same venue, the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“I want nothing more than to smash the ‘Big Dosser’ on 24 July, but I guess the beating will have to wait,” said Fury. “Make no mistake, I will be back and better than ever. We will fight 9 October and I will knock him spark out.”
Wilder’s manager, Shelly Finkel, said: “This is what we went to arbitration for. He just wanted what was owed to him. He remains ready to reclaim his world title on 9 October.”
Fury first met Wilder in December 2018 at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, outboxing Wilder for most of the night but suffering knockdowns in the ninth and 12th rounds to settle for a split draw which allowed Wilder to hold on to the WBC heavyweight belt.
Fifteen months later, the Gypsy King delivered the definitive outcome their first encounter failed to produce, dropping Wilder twice over seven punishing rounds until the American’s corner threw in the towel.
Neither fighter has been in action since. A hotly anticipated unification showdown in Saudi Arabia between Fury and Anthony Joshua, who holds the IBF, WBA and WBO belts, was undone when Wilder’s contractual right to a third fight was upheld in an arbitration hearing.
Joshua is set to defend his world titles against Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk in London on 25 September 25, two weeks before his heavyweight rivals do battle in the US.