World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has paved the way for an all-British title clash with Anthony Joshua after calling the 2012 Olympic gold medallist "a bum," who he thinks would be beaten by "skinny" Deontay Wilder.
Fury appeared ringside on Saturday night before Carl Frampton defeated Scott Quigg via split decision to unify the WBA and IBF super bantamweight belts. There, he told Radio Rahim of Boxing Scene what he thought of potential heavyweight opponent Joshua:
AJ is a bum really. He is what you call a weightlifter, a bodybuilder. I'm the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world—who beat the man who everyone said couldn't be beat. If you wouldn't mind, please don't mention a bum, 15-fight novice in the same breath as me. I'm best fighter in the world. I would take him apart like a lion taking a gazelle's throat out.
Joshua will fight IBF heavyweight champion Charles Martin at the O2 Arena on April 9, and a 16th consecutive win for the 26-year-old could tee up a potential date with Fury, who's poised for a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko.
However, Fury may yet like the sound of a date opposite WBC champion Wilder, who he rates as a stiffer contest, albeit still not one quite up to his own standards:
"Wilder would knock AJ out, but he's a p---y. He is what he is. He's a skinny p---y. They are all p---ies. I'm the man, the only man. I'm best fighter in the world, the best fighter on the planet—all weights. Line them all up and I will ravish them. They are all p---ies. All of the heavyweights are b---hes."
Fury and Wilder met face-to-face at New York's Barclays Center in January after the latter knocked out Artur Szpilka to retain his WBC belt, and the Englishman had some stern words for his American rival, per Showtime:
That show of aggression suggested Fury has Wilder in his sights, and he may seek to set up a date with the 30-year-old if he beats Klitschko before looking to add the WBC title to his collection.
It's been three months since Fury defeated Klitschko via unanimous decision in Dusseldorf, Germany, to claim the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles, although he was later stripped of the IBF belt for being unable to fight mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov.
A rematch with Klitschko was inserted as an obligatory clause in his contract, but Fury admitted to Sky Sports News HQ there was still no definite date set for his next fight, and he did not he know if Klitschko would be his opponent:
I have no idea when the next fight is, who it is going to be, no idea. So that is a bit of an update for everybody.
I don't know who it is going to be, to be honest. I have no confirmation on if it is going to be Klitschko, Fred Flintstone or Batman, I have no idea.
A fixture against Joshua would certainly make for a more intriguing affair if he's able to defeat Martin at the O2 in April, thus giving Fury his chance to reclaim the IBF belt in swift fashion.
The Telegraph's Paul Hayward recently suggested Joshua would be too much for Fury to handle, however, citing his advantage in speed and agility as a defining factor:
@ashboyne sure. I'm thinking more of hand speed, agility etc. Joshua a modern athlete with more skills than Fury.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) February 19, 2016
It's no new thing to hear Fury talk down to his fellow heavyweights, but such insults hold far more weight now that the 27-year-old has claimed his world titles and sits atop the division's roster.
Wilder and Joshua most likely won't take kindly to the controversial fighter's most recent outburst, but Fury has lost none of his effect in building anticipation for the matchups to come in his near future.