Anthony Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn has suggested that poor ticket sales are the real reason behind the postponement of the WBC heavyweight title fight between champion Tyson Fury 30-0-1 (21) and challenger Deontay Wilder 42-1-1 (41) rather than an outbreak of Covid-19.
This week it was reported that there was Covid-19 outbreak in the Fury camp, forcing the fight that was scheduled to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 24 to be pushed back until later this year on a date to be determined.
The 32-year-old Fury was on the verge of announcing a fight against fellow Brit and WBA, WBO and IBF champion Joshua 24-1 (22) in late May when an independent arbitrator ruled that 35-year-old American Wilder was entitled to a third bout against the self-styled ‘Gypsy King’ as per the terms of their contract following his seventh-round knockout in their rematch in Los Angeles in February last year.
The details about who exactly has contracted Covid-19 in the Fury camp remains shrouded in secrecy, prompting speculation from Matchroom Boxing boss Hearn.
“I don’t know the ins and outs, the facts, what to believe,” Hearn said to iFL TV. “I’ve told you the fight wouldn’t happen.”
“Whether it’s Covid related, whether it’s they haven’t sold any tickets, whether it was worry that the pay-per-view was going to flop, whether it was Fury’s camp wasn’t going great, I have no idea.
“I’m sure someone has got Covid and it’s not an unusual occurrence. I think when you look at the manifest and the [amount of] seats available online [for T-Mobile], you look at how few tickets were sold for the event – it does start stinking a little bit.
“But I’m sure there’s some truth to it. October is a bit weird. It’s all a bit weird. The fight might be delayed because someone in the camp has got Covid.
“An hour later, Fury’s got Covid and then an hour later, it’s off. Top Rank said, ‘No, it’s not off at the moment, we’ll keep you updated.’ Then a half an hour later, it’s off. Who knows? It’s very difficult, when he had the dealings which we had [with Fury’s team], to believe anything.”
Fury’s US-based co-promoter Top Rank issued a short statement late last week that read: “We continue to monitor the health status of Tyson and his team and the status of the event has not changed to date.”
It comes after Top Rank boss Bob Arum claimed earlier this year that Fury was fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Hearn said he hoped Fury recovered quickly – if he did indeed have Covid-19.
“If he has got Covid,” he said. “I wish him all the best.”
But the sting was in the tail.
“Clearly from the reaction of the fans and the ticket sales, no one needs to see the fight,” Hearn added.