Unable to trade punches, Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua have swapped insults outside of the ring.
With their long-trumpeted mega-fight having hit the rocks after a truly catastrophic 48 hours, Fury and Joshua played the blame game on social media on Tuesday night in some heated exchanges.
Emotions were high after arbitration judge Daniel Weinstein ruled that Fury must fulfil a previous contract and face old rival Deontay Wilder by September 15, rather than an August 14 money-spinner against rival heavyweight champion Joshua in Saudi Arabia.
Rubbing salt in the wound, the WBO then ordered that Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn must show proof of a Fury fight by Thursday, otherwise the sanctioning body will mandate AJ to fight its No.1 contender Oleksandr Usyk. Failure to do so would see Joshua stripped of his WBO title.
With no undisputed world heavyweight title fight on the near horizon, WBA Super, IBF and WBO king Joshua took to the front foot and delivered verbal blows at WBC champion Fury.
“The world now sees you for the fraud you are,” posted Joshua on social media. “You’ve let boxing down! You lied to the fans and led them on. Used my name for clout not a fight. Bring me any championship fighter who can handle their business correctly.”
These comments predictably went down like a lead balloon with his rival and Fury came back firing.
“Anthony Joshua, [you’re] more full of shit than Eddie [Hearn],” replied Fury. “Spouting absolute shite! Your full team knew there was an arbitration going on, it was out of my hands! But I tell you what…if I’m a fraud let’s fight this weekend bare knuckles till 1 man quits? Let’s put up 20 mill each!”
Joshua flurried back: “If there was an arbitration going on, why announce to the world we are fighting. The fight was signed! UNDISPUTED Bare knuckle? You’re a good kid, don’t play with me Luke! I’ll slap your bald head and you’ll do nothing! Waste man.”
Fury countered: “Not going into the details online. You’ll slap me about will you, dosser? Please come and try Bum, I’m waiting. Bottlejob! 24/7 365. Ready. I’ll smoke Wilder first then you will get yours as well.”
Joshua then appeared to win the squabble by posting a video of Fury held back by a security barrier at the recent Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders fight. Saunders’ dad Tom had been manhandled by security, sparking an altercation, but Fury held back behind the barrier and chose not to intervene or aid his friend’s father.
“You’re not about that bareknuckle life. A barrier held you back, not even a bouncer!” mocked Joshua.
That was the finishing blow in the keyboard war of words.