The picture at the top of boxing’s heavyweight division has become increasingly blurry, with mandatory challengers and planned fights standing in the way of a potential unification bout between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua. One thing that is certain, however, is the trilogy fight between Fury and rival Deontay Wilder. According to both camps, that fight could go down at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Dec. 19.
After battling to a dramatic draw in 2018, Fury and Wilder rematched in February. Fury battered Wilder in the bout before scoring a stoppage win in the seventh round. After the fight, Wilder cited the heavy costume he wore to the ring as the cause of his loss, sapping his strength. Wilder’s brother recently implied Fury used loaded gloves in the rematch after a doctor found a “dent” in Deontay’s head from a blunt object. Fury has denied those allegations.
With a third fight between the men contractually guaranteed should the loser choose to initiate it, Wilder quickly activated the clause before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the bout off its planned summer timeframe.
According to an ESPN report, the Dec. 19 date is now being targeted by both camps. It is a date selected, according to Top Rank’s Bob Arum, for how it fits into the NFL schedule.
We’ve reserved that date for Allegiant Stadium, Arum said. The Raiders are playing on that Thursday [Dec. 17], which is perfect. After the game is over, we put up the ring and so forth. We have a couple of days to do it, and Saturday we have the fight.
Top Rank president Todd duBoef added that all sides are looking at options for fans to attend the fight even under social distancing guidelines should the pandemic still demand such measure be taken. Without restrictions, the live gate for the fight would be in the tens of millions of dollars.