In a welcome bit of concrete news after the recent “loaded gloves” controversy, Top Rank’s Brad Jacobs sat down with Sky Sports for the latest update on Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder 3. The fight has a new working date of December 19th, though there’s been “no real progress” on narrowing down a location.
“We are focusing on December 19 and are hoping that, by then, we are back to a nearly normal situation. That may be a 50 percent capacity. We are looking all over the world, at this point, for the best location for this event. That will be narrowed down and we’ll see where it takes us.”
The bout had an initial tentative date of July 18th, which was pushed back to October 3rd once the pandemic got into gear.
Bob Arum had previously tabbed Macau and Australia as potential sites for the
heavyweight title fight.
“There are many offers from all over the world. It will land where it lands, for whatever reason. At the moment there is no real progress for any specific location. ... A small hall with 1,000 people? A big arena that holds 15,000 but with 3,000 inside? How close can people sit? It is a huge undertaking to reach this next step. We are investigating it actively.”
Top Rank is no stranger to the hazards posed by COVID-19, having lost a number of fights in its Las Vegas residency to the virus. For a blockbuster event like this, which demands a live audience to live up to its earning potential, safety will be paramount.
“For 24/7 six weeks before our first event we went over out protocol, and what to do when we had a positive test. We didn’t live in a fantasy world with no positive tests or fantasies. We prepared well. ... Part of our business [crowds] is not viable but we made a conscious decision to move ahead. We have proper doctors, proper staffing, in place to properly deal with situations and protect everybody which is the primary goal.”
We’ve now got at least five months to find new controversies, so there’s no need to rush.