By: Hans Themistode
With approximately two weeks left before Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury meet in the ring for a third and presumably final time, news surfaced that there could be a significant delay. As first reported by ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, a COVID-19 outbreak has taken place within the camp of Fury.
At this time, officials from Top Rank were unable to confirm nor deny if Fury has contracted the contagious disease.
“We continue to monitor the health status of Tyson and his team,” read an official statement from Top Rank. “The status of the event has not changed to date.”
If, in fact, Fury has tested positive, the third installment of their contest will undoubtedly be pushed back. As for an exact date, nothing has been formally discussed but in all likelihood, a date in September is said to be the plausible outcome.
While fans may have groaned over the possibility of their heavyweight clash being pushed further down the boxing calendar, Malik Scott, head trainer of Wilder, sat stone-faced with a lit cigar in his hand as he discussed the developing story during an interview with ESNews.
“Everything is remaining the same,” said Scott. “We’re not going for no bananas and no tailpipes. I don’t care what the media reports, were staying zoned in. You gotta realize, we’re dealing with a fighter that I don’t believe nothing he says. You just never know with Tyson. You just always have to stay prepared so you don’t have to get ready. That’s what we’re doing.”
Wilder, 35, has long been awaiting his chance to get his hands back on Fury. In December of 2018, both big men clashed at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. All three judges watching their contest unfold were unable to agree on who was the actual winner on the night and ruled their showdown a draw.
Roughly one and a half years later, the two would do it again. This time, the expertise of judges Glenn Feldman, Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld wasn’t needed as Fury scored two knockdowns on the night before ultimately recording the stoppage win, putting an end to Wilder’s five year run as WBC champion.
Although Wilder enacted his immediate rematch clause, Fury attempted to bypass the former titlist altogether, citing that Wilder’s rematch clause had expired. From there, Fury’s camp attempted to negotiate an undisputed title clash against unified champion, Anthony Joshua. Despite Fury claiming that their deal was all but done, Wilder firmly stepped in to end all hopes of Fury facing anyone but himself next.
With the help of arbitrator Daniel Weinstein, Fury was given no choice but to face Wilder for a third time. Once given the green light, the Alabama native began putting his body through a grueling training regimen. Now, even with Fury’s COVID-19 outbreak threatening to postpone their matchup, Scott has decided to stay the course. While he respects Fury as a fighter, his words mean little to nothing to him.
“That type of news didn’t shatter the camp at all. It’s a laughing matter over here. Nothing no one is going to say, no rumors that’s going to get put out is going to stop us from being motivated on the task at hand. If this is supposed to be a distraction, we’re not distracted at all. Redemption and retribution is upon us. Deontay Wilder is more than ready.”