Tyson Fury has launched a scathing attack on Antony Joshua after the WBA, WBO and IBF champion declared that Deontay Wilder is his “number one” next opponent.
Speaking in the ring following his seventh round TKO victory over Alexander Povetkin at Wembley on Sunday (NZ time), Joshua confirmed the American is his first choice for his next bout, which is already booked for April.
“My number one would be Wilder, let’s not talk about a number two or three,” Joshua told Sky Sports UK.
He then said if a deal couldn’t be struck with the American, compatriot Dillian Whyte – who beat Kiwi Joseph Parker in July – is “also more than welcome”.
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, backed up his fighter’s comments.
“Joshua’s a real world champion, we will go away now and try and make a fight with [Deontay] Wilder,” Hearn told Sky Sports UK.
“Tonight was about getting that big banana skin of Alexander Povetkin out the way.
“If it’s not Deontay Wilder then it will be Whyte here on April 13.”
Fury, who is fighting Wilder in America in December, took exception to Joshua’s comments and unleashed a tirade against the 2012 Olympic gold medallist.
“They mentioned if it’s not [Deontay] Wilder it’ll be [Dillian] Whyte, and there’s no mention of Tyson Fury, the lineal heavyweight champion of the world.
“It’s alright fighting men who are 39-years-old, half your size. Tonight is pure evidence that I’m fighting the best heavyweight out there in Deontay Wilder.
“Joshua is not even close. He’s slow, methodical, and ponderous at times. Powerful yes, but they all are.
“Very, very clear to say ‘avoid me at all costs’. If I was you, Joshua, I’d avoid me because I would jab your face off, you bum. I’ve never seen a bigger bum in my life.”
Fury previously held the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts after beating Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015.
He was subsequently stripped of the IBF belt and relinquished the WBA and WBO ones after his boxing licence was suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control, citing anti-doping and medical issues.