Tyson Fury sends message to 'bully' Deontay Wilder
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Tyson Fury has suggested that Anthony Joshua is running scared of a meeting between the pair by claiming that the Watford-born champion would refuse to drop his belts in order to force the fight. The two British champions have long been tipped to face each other in a hotly-anticipated heavyweight unification bout, but the likelihood of an event in the near future appears to be slim.
Fury is contractually obliged to fight Deontay Wilder for a third time and was supposed to do battle with the big-punching American in July.
However, a poorly-timed COVID-19 outbreak within Fury’s camp saw the bout delayed until October 9.
Meanwhile, Joshua is set to defend his heavyweight titles against mandatory WBO challenger Oleksandr Usyk later this month at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Fury and Joshua came agonisingly close to facing each other earlier this year, with a two-fight deal almost fully agreed before the proposal collapsed at the eleventh hour.
The ‘Gypsy King’ has since revealed that he is not convinced it will ever happen, declaring that Joshua would not be prepared to vacate his titles in order to allow the fight to go ahead.
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“I’ve never been optimistic about this fight happening,” Fury told Gary Neville on The Overlap.
“And even when we said it was going to happen in Saudi Arabia and the deal was done, I still wasn’t optimistic about it, and guess what? It never happened.
“I do think sooner or later it has to happen, even if we have to go AWOL and throw all the belts in the bin for whatever reason, and then just fight each other.
“I’d do that, if that makes sense. But I’m not sure if he would be willing to do that.”
Fury also reignited his war of words with Joshua, accusing the former Olympic champion of masking his true personality with a false public persona.
“For him, he’s had to change his image,” added the Manchester-born heavyweight.
“So I’d almost call that a fake character. He plays this ‘he’s so humble and such a nice person’ and all of that.
“But I do truly believe that’s a mirage, a smoke and mirrors job, well done by his team.
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“And when he’s let off and does his own things, sometimes he comes out of his shell and shows the real him and he gets in big bother for it.”
It remains to be seen whether Fury and Joshua will eventually face each other for all the marbles if they win their respective fights against Wilder and Usyk.
The former still boasts an unbeaten record, stained only by the split draw with Wilder from the pair’s first meeting in 2018.
Meanwhile, Joshua was beaten in a monumental upset by Andy Ruiz Jr a year later but quickly avenged the result to regain his heavyweight titles.
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