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Sunday, June 13, 2021

‘You’ve let boxing down, fraud’: Anthony Joshua trades blows with Tyson Fury

Earlier last week, Anthony Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn had confirmed that the world heavyweight unification title fight was set to be held on August 14 in Saudi Arabia.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: May 20, 2021 12:10:00 pm
Anthony Joshua's last ring appearance was against Kubrat Pulev in December. (File)

Anthony Joshua expressed his discontentment with Tyson Fury by calling him “a fraud” on social media on Thursday with their undisputed title fight on the brink of collapsing.

Earlier last week, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn had confirmed that the world heavyweight unification title fight was set to be held on August 14 in Saudi Arabia. He said the fight was a “done deal”, even if not yet fully signed off by both parties.

But on Monday, a court ruled that WBC champion Fury must take on Deontay Wilder again by September 15, meaning IBF, WBA and WBO titleholder Joshua may instead fight Oleksandr Usyk next.

“The world now sees you for the fraud you are,” Joshua posted on Twitter. “You’ve let boxing down! You lied to the fans and led them on. Used my name for clout not a fight. Bring me any championship fighter who can handle their business correctly.”

In reply, Fury said, “You are more full of [rubbish] than [promoter Eddie Hearn]. Your full team knew there was an arbitration going on, it was out of my hands! If I’m a fraud let’s fight this weekend bare knuckles until one man quits.”

Joshua hit back by saying, “If there was an arbitration going on, why announce to the world we are fighting! The fight was signed! I’ll slap your bald head and you’ll do nothing!”

When asked about the August 14 date for the much-awaited fight, Hearn told Sky Sports, “We were told the arbitration wouldn’t be a problem but obviously it is a problem. We still hope the fight can go ahead but it’s out of our hands.”

“If [Fury’s] hands are tied [Joshua] will have to look elsewhere.”

Joshua fought Andy Ruiz Jr in Diriyah, on the outskirts of the Riyadh, in December 2019 and won back the belts he had lost in an earlier shock defeat.

The 31-year-old, the 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight gold medallist, holds the IBF, WBO, WBA and IBO titles while Fury, 32, is the WBC belt holder.

Fury has not fought for more than a year since his knockout win against Wilder while Joshua’s last ring appearance was against Kubrat Pulev in December.

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