LONDON (Reuters) - Tyson Fury has labeled new IBF world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua a ‘pumped-up weightlifter’ and said he would be an easy pay day once he had defended his own titles against Wladimir Klitschko in July.
Briton Fury will face Klitschko in a re-match in Manchester on July 9 after stunning the long-reigning Ukrainian in Germany in November to win the WBA and WBO belts.
Olympic champion Joshua won the IBF belt Fury was forced to vacate when he crushed American Charles Martin in only his 16th professional fight last week — fuelling talk of a unification fight between himself and Fury.
Joshua said after dispatching Martin that he would “walk through” Fury, but the self-styled Gypsy King launched a counter-attack on his British rival at a news conference for his cousin Hughie Fury’s forthcoming WBO intercontinental heavyweight title fight with American Fred Kassi.
“The British public is fooled by bums,” Tyson Fury, 27, told reporters. “I thought (Joshua) looked like a pumped-up weightlifter out of his mind on drugs.
“He fought an American who came to lay down and had about as much fight in him as this glass of water there, zero.
“If it hadn’t been for me, Joshua wouldn’t be anywhere near a title. He only got the chance because the IBF stole their belt from me because I had a contract for the rematch with Wladimir.
“The only fight I have to worry about is Wladimir. It takes a real man to relieve a great champion of his belts. So let’s not talk about the others until I beat the man that was the man.
“Providing I get past him then I’ll fight the other ones. The British ones are the easiest pay days.”
Fury clearly holds Klitschko in higher esteem than Joshua, saying he was ‘10-times better’, but he had a warning for the German-based former champion who barely laid a glove on Fury in their first fight.
“He’s still the second-best heavyweight. A proper fighter. But if he doesn’t do something different he is in for another hiding.
“He has to come and try and fight. He couldn’t fight me the first time with his A-game so he won’t on his second.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Clare Fallon