Boxing fans eager to see the third matchup of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and former champ Deontay Wilder will have to be patient.
Promoter Bob Arum told ESPN on Tuesday that the fight scheduled for July 18 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas is postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Everybody has to take a step back," Arum told ESPN. "Boxing is not isolated. It's part of what's happening in the world. So possibly the fight will be in early October."
With Nevada casinos currently shuttered and a state ban on combat sports in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Arum said the July 18 date could no longer be considered.
"We don't even know if the MGM will even be open by then," he told ESPN, adding, "You could not guarantee the fighters that the event would take place on that date. We couldn't convince them or ourselves.
"Where were they going to train for it? It just made no sense. You just have to take a step back. How are you going to sell tickets? It's absolutely ridiculous to say the fight is on when the Brits can't even get there (to support countryman Fury)."
Fury (30-0-1, 21 knockouts) earned a technical knockout against Wilder (42-1-1, 41 knockouts) in Las Vegas on Feb. 22 when Wilder's corner threw in the towel in the seventh round.
That bout was the rematch of a controversial split-decision draw between the two in December 2018.
Earlier this month, July 18 had been selected for Fury-Wilder III, with Arum telling ESPN at the time, "We realized that date was the favorite of both ESPN and Fox because it comes at a dead time in sports, which is good for the fight.
"It's after the basketball playoffs, baseball is in the middle of the season and there's no football. It's the ideal time. The hotel, MGM Grand, also believes it to be an ideal time."
--Field Level Media