Tyson Fury’s world heavyweight title defence against Deontay Wilder, originally scheduled for July 24, has officially been postponed.
A positive coronavirus test for the 32-year-old has forced the trilogy fight to be rearranged for October 9, it was confirmed by the Briton’s US-based promoter Top Rank on Thursday.
It was reported last week that Fury had contracted Covid-19 and it means another delay before he can put his WBC title on the line in a third meeting with Wilder.
He said: “I want nothing more than to smash the ‘Big Dosser’ on July 24, but I guess the beating will have to wait. Make no mistake, I will be back and better than ever. We will fight Oct, 9 and I will knock him spark out.”
Wilder’s manager Shelly Finkel added: “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 Oct 9.”
A court ruling in May forced Fury to ditch an immediate bout with Anthony Joshua and instead face his American rival again, having first fought the ‘Bronze Bomber’ in December 2018, when a controversial draw verdict was recorded at the Staples Center.
The ‘Gypsy King’ defeated Wilder in February last year with a seventh-round knockout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
It ended the unbeaten run of the 35-year-old from Alabama, who had won all of his 40 contests before he met the Wythenshawe boxer in the ring for the first time.
Neither fighter has been in action since their last meeting in 2020 and this latest delay means it will have been almost 20 months since they stepped into the ring when they go toe-to-toe on October 9.
Fury’s hopes of an all-British heavyweight showdown with Joshua were scuppered in May by the arbitration ruling and any plans for the two champions to squeeze in a bout before the end of this year are now all but over.
Joshua is set to defend his IBF, WBA and WBO titles against Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk in London on September 25, two weeks before his heavyweight rivals do battle in the United States.
The venue for the trilogy contest remains the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and tickets purchased for July 24 will be honoured for the rescheduled date, but Fury will turn his attention to recovering from coronavirus before he plots a way past Wilder again.