May 7, 2020 / 4:41 AM / a month ago

No chance of Fury fighting Wilder without a crowd, says Warren

LONDON (Reuters) - There is no chance of a rematch between world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and American Deontay Wilder going ahead without a crowd, the Briton’s promoter Frank Warren said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Boxing - Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury - WBC Heavyweight Title - The Grand Garden Arena at MGM Grand, Las Vegas, United States - February 22, 2020 Tyson Fury in action against Deontay Wilder REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Fury overwhelmed Wilder in their Las Vegas rematch in February, seizing the WBC crown with a seventh round stoppage. They had previously fought to a draw in December 2018.

A third bout between the two was set for Las Vegas in July but that was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now looks unlikely to happen before November or December at the earliest.

The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) is hoping to resume professional boxing in Britain in July but with strict conditions and no spectators.

“There’s not going to be big-name fighters out there,” Warren told the BBC of the first fights likely after the lockdown.

“There is no chance of Fury v Wilder behind closed doors.”

Promoter Bob Arum said last month a delay could be even longer because of the importance of gate receipts.

“The fans in the last fight put in almost $17 million (13.8 million pounds) into the coffers in purchase of tickets... how do you replace that $17 million?,” he said in a Top Rank Boxing interview. “I mean, you don’t.

“A Fury-Wilder fight might have to wait a couple more months until we can go back to full spectators.”

BBBofC proposals for July, which are still being discussed with promoters, include boxers in Britain having to wear face masks during ring walks and being banned from using a spit bucket in between rounds.

Former WBA lightweight champion Anthony Crolla told the BBC it would be impossible to follow such rules to the letter.

“A boxer can’t spit in a bucket? What if that fighter has a mouthful of blood?,” he asked.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge

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