By Gareth A Davies for the Daily Telegraph
Tyson Fury has hit back as Anthony Joshua as boxing's war of words continues to escalate.
Fury responded to Joshua's expletive-filled Twitter attack on his potential rivals, telling Fury 'get fit you fat f---'.
All part of the fun of the developing heavyweight boxing circus. Joshua retained his IBF, WBA & IBO world titles with victory by technical tenth round knockout of Carlos Takam in Cardiff last month, but with his next rival fight yet to be scheduled, Joshua actually wrested back a modicum of control after criticism from Joseph Parker, Fury and WBC champion Deontay Wilder, who claimed after his sixth defence of his portion of the crown in New York last weekend that the Briton was "running scared".
It was a well-timed tweet from Joshua, exerting his control over the division which he intends to rule for several years. Out of character, perhaps, but not out of keeping in a modern world in which sports fans lap up on a daily basis the back and forth of modern day news.
After claiming "all these guys doing their negotiations over social media, I'm not into that" earlier this week, Joshua took a different stance.
Any potential fight between Fury and Joshua could be the biggest grossing fight in British boxing history. The British Boxing Board of Control have urged Fury's legal team to propose a date before his UK Anti-Doping hearing can resume.
Fury had a retort of his own, replying on Instagram to Joshua: "Message to you live and direct. I do not care about yo.! Like I told you before I'll punch your face. Fighting to me is easy and slapping punks like you is even easier. Good to see Eddie (Hearn) has let you of your leash for the day. But he better put you back on before you get bitten."
Fury had also claimed Joshua had defeated a 'glorified midget' in his fight against Takam. The rebuke from Joshua, who does drop the F-bomb from time it time in interviews, was a clear message of intent.
As promoter Eddie Hearn told me earlier this week, "AJ is ready to face them all - and in 2018."
Joshua added: "Eddie (Hearn, promoter) has been on the phone to Tyson, trying to make things happen and support his cause. 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."