Tyson Fury’s COVID-19 Diagnosis Stalemates Heavyweight Division

Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champion

Was it all the traveling, social media meandering, and minimal mask-wearing? Tyson Fury has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The diagnosis has halted the heavyweight trilogy showdown between WBC and lineal world champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury and former world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder Saturday, Jul. 24, at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The two goliaths will now meet Saturday, Oct. 9 at T-Mobile Arena and live on ESPN+ PPV and FOX Sports PPV, resuming one of the great rivalries in the division’s storied history.

“I wanted nothing more than to smash the ‘Big Dosser’ on Jul. 24, but I guess the beating will have to wait,” Fury said. “Make no mistake, I will be back and better than ever. We will fight Oct. 9, and I will knock him spark out!”

With the fight now postponed until the last quarter of the year, the heavyweight division is a stalemate. Current WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua faces Oleksandr Usyk on Sept. 25 in the U.K., an exciting, fan-friendly fight.

But Usyk, the former undisputed cruiserweight champ, is not a true heavyweight with a long lineage in the division; although he did beat former world title challenger Derek Chisora.

However, the three kings of the division are Joshua, Fury, and Wilder, and the world won’t be satisfied until there is a definitive undisputed champion amongst the three.

“This is what we went to arbitration for,” said Shelly Finkel, Wilder’s manager. “He just wanted what was owed to him. He remains ready to reclaim his world title on Oct. 9.”

Although the lighter weight classes and those in the middle are keeping boxing pushing, along with novelty bouts like Jake Paul vs. Tyron Woodley, the heavyweights are still at the top of the food chain, and yet another roadblock has kept the best from fighting the best.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.