Former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has hit back at Anthony Joshua after the current champ called him a "fat f***."
Fury has not fought since November 2015, when he shocked the boxing world by outpointing IBF and WBA world champion Wladimir Klitschko in Germany.
He suffered a mental health crisis and then said he was quitting boxing altogether but recently he has said he is back in training and anxious to challenge Joshua, who won the IBF title in 2016, and added the WBA title when he came back from being knocked down to beat Klitschko in April this year.
Fury Has Put on Weight Since 2015
Joshua struggled to overcome the lightly regarded Frenchman Carlos Takam in October, but he fancies his chances of beating Fury, who ballooned in weight while he was out of the ring.
Fury weighed 17 stone eight pounds (246 pounds) when he fought Klitschko two years ago, but photographs of him in September this year showed him with a large belly.
Morning fightfans I've had another. Good sesh in the gym, you will be pleased to hear that I've shed another 9lbs the weight is melting off.— TYSON2FASTFURY (@Tyson_Fury) 10 November 2017
On Thursday, November 9, Joshua tweeted to Fury: "Get fit you fat f***."
Fury responded with a YouTube video in which he referred to Joshua as "the weightlifter," a reference to his belief that Joshua's muscled physique is deceptive and leaves him vulnerable to stamina problems in long fights.
"This is a message to the weightlifter, big Anthony Joshua, the big tough man," said Fury in the video.
"He told me to get fit, the fat f***, it's a new one as he usually doesn't swear as he's not himself. So he's being himself now, which is good," added the 29-year-old.
"To be honest with you me old mate, I don't need to get fit for somebody like you at all, I'll come to you and punch your face right in, even at 25 stone [350 pounds]," added Fury.
"I really don't need to get fit, so I really don't need to get fit for you, put it that way. I've seen what you're all about. You fought a midget the other day in a hard fight. The referee had to stop it in case you got caught or beat. Bum City like I always said: no gas, no stamina, too many weights. You want to practice on a bit more speed and less power. Bum," said Fury, who has won all his 25 fights.
"Fighting to me is easy and slapping punks like you is even easier. Good to see Eddie [Hearn, promoter] has let you off your leash for the day. But he better put you back on before you get bitten," said Fury.
Joshua has also been called out by the WBC champion, Deontay Wilder, from the US, and the WBO title holder, New Zealander Joseph Parker.
He responded to their challenges with contemptuous tweets.
Joshua knows he is the fight they all want.
Will Joshua Fight Wilder, Parker or Fury?
Wilder, who is from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, does not have a large fan base and nor does Parker.
They are not fighters who attract large crowds or big pay-per-view audiences, unlike Joshua who is a big name in the UK and across Europe. He is not as well known in the US, where he has yet to fight yet.
Fury, who has a large following among the gypsy community, is a "love him or hate him" character who has been criticized in the past for making homophobic and politically incorrect remarks on social media.
A fight between the unbeaten Joshua and the unbeaten Fury is possible next year and would be a huge attraction in the UK.
The bout would not need much hype but the bad blood between the pair would certainly help to sell tickets.