Saturday was set to feature the third fight between WBC heavyweight titleholder Tyson Fury and the man he dethroned, Deontay Wilder. However, that has been postponed until October 9 due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in Fury's camp.
The delay has heaped further woe on an already-frustrating maximum-weight scene, after months of negotiations for a superfight between Fury and WBA, WBO and IBF champion Anthony Joshua to crown an undisputed king were undone by Wilder's successful arbitration to enforce a contracted rematch promoter Bob Arum insisted had expired.
In an interview with The Daily Mail, Fury was bullish about the source of the problem that led to the postponement.
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“I’m the last person to blame," he said. "I don’t have a large entourage, unlike most world champions with all their a—licking hangers-on.
“Since coming back into full-time camp I hadn’t been anywhere other than my new house here and the Top Rank gym. Nor had my team.
“The only people whose movements I couldn’t completely control were my sparring partners, who change.
“They came in and out of the bubble and everyone knows this town is full of COVID. I suspect we caught it from one of them.”
Fury also explained how things will be done differently in the run-up to October 9 in order to avoid yet another delay to the fight that was initially intended for December 2020 after the first easing of pandemic lockdown, and will be both men's first bout since their second encounter way back in February 2020.
He said: “There were only ten of us on the team this time. But when we go back into camp for a month in England and another month here I will cut us to just four full time.
“Me, my head trainer SugarHill Steward, his assistant Andy Lee and my old pal Tim who organises my life.
“We will strictly control the access for sparring partners and increase testing.
“No masseur. No fitness coach. No dietician. Even my two brothers will have to wait to join me until fight week here in Vegas.
“I’ve suffered enough frustration on this roller-coaster. I don’t need more. Any more than I would have risked anyone else’s health by coming early out of quarantine.”