Anthony Joshua has responded to taunts from Tyson Fury by demanding a date when the former heavyweight champion will be available to fight him.
Joshua, who faces Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley later this month in front of a post-war record crowd for a fight in Britain of 90,000, insisted Fury’s inactivity is the only reason they are yet to meet.
The current IBF heavyweight champion also insulted the Mancunian’s “fat ass” as he responded to Fury labelling him a “poor man’s Frank Bruno”.
Comparing the muscular physiques of two fighters considered by some to be one-dimensional, the 28-year-old Fury wrote on Twitter: “Anthony Joshua is a poor man’s Frank Bruno.”
The 27-year-old responded by saying: “Typical Tyson Fury, always talking BS around fight time. Same offer as last time. Two ringside tickets, don’t bring a plus one, it’s for your fat ass.”
Fury, who in November 2015 became the first fighter in 11 years to defeat Klitschko and transform the heavyweight picture into the one in which Joshua has thrived, then wrote: “I might be fat, but you’re a paper champ and paper-chinned weightlifting rudeboy, wannabe badman. Know your place chump! Or I’ll come back and (KO) you.”
Finally, Joshua said: “Shut up and give me a date when you’ll be back! You’re the only reason we haven’t had a fight yet! Be about what you say. I ain’t going nowhere.”
Terms for a rematch between Fury and Klitschko were twice agreed before the former was forced to postpone, first owing to an ankle injury and then to focus on recovering from depression.
Whether Fury will ever fight again remains in doubt, but in his absence Joshua has become one of the world’s leading heavyweights.