Tyson Fury has hit back at world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua after the latter branded the former a "fat f--k" on social media.
Joshua, who recently beat Carlos Takam to retain his WBA (Super), IBF and IBO heavyweight titles, was in a feisty mood on Twitter on Thursday, first posting a message to WBC champion Deontay Wilder and then the following to Fury (warning: NSFW language):
Anthony Joshua @anthonyfjoshua
& @Tyson_Fury get fit you fat fuck2017-11-9 09:08:17
Unsurprisingly, Fury had a response for Joshua on his Instagram account, in which he referred to AJ as a "weight lifter" (warning: NSFW language):
"To be honest with you, I don't need to get fit for somebody like Joshua, I'd come and punch his face right in even at 25 stone," said Fury in the clip. "I've seen what you're about. You just fought a midget the other day in a hard fight. The referee had to stop it in case you got caught or beat."
Fury has been talking up the prospect of a bout against Joshua, who has won all 21 of his fights inside the distance, despite being out of action for around two years.
In another recent post on Twitter, he made it clear he thinks an all-British showdown isn’t far off: "I say we get this fight on like Donkey Kong. [Let's] make it the biggest fight in British boxing history. I say we get Lennox Lewis involved. I say we get Frank Bruno involved. AJ-Fury, it's on."
While his last bout was the famous win over Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015, Fury also said he believes he would be able to finish Joshua inside eight rounds.
As reported by Gareth A. Davies of the Daily Telegraph, Joshua also said he believed a fight between the two could go ahead, though there are other challengers he currently has his eye on.
"Eddie (Hearn, promoter) has been on the phone to Tyson, trying to make things happen and support his cause," he said. "This is a fight, down the line, that might happen. At the minute, the fighters who are closer on a championship level are the likes of Joseph Parker and Deontay Wilder."
According to Davies a meeting with Wilder is most likely on the agenda for Joshua next. That’s after the WBC champion stopped Bermane Stiverne in sensational style on Saturday.
Wilder provided a reminder of the devastating nature of that first round win on his Twitter account on Thursday:
Deontay Wilder @BronzeBomber
In case y'all forgot..... 👀👊🏿 #BombZquad https://t.co/2RSJQi8PFO2017-11-9 17:13:25
Hearn has suggested fans may have to wait until 2018 until they see Joshua-Wilder, though, per The Independent.
The American has made it clear he wants a shot at Joshua and told BBC Sport he believes he would beat the Briton in the "safe haven" of his own country.
Another option for Joshua at this point is a showdown with Parker, who is the current WBO champion. But according to another post from AJ on Twitter the New Zealander "sips tea, continues to read tweets and refreshes email" but there’s "still no offer."