Tyson Fury has felt the wrath of boxing fans after taking to social media to declare that his highly anticipated December bout with Anthony Joshua is "officially over".
The WBC world heavyweight champion called off his proposed 'Battle of Britain' bout with Joshua because his rival didn't sign the contract in time.
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Fury had given Joshua a Monday deadline in England to sign the fight deal, before sensationally pulling the pin when the deadline passed.
"It's official, D-Day has come and gone," Fury said on Instagram on Monday.
"No contract has been signed. It's officially over for Joshua. He's now out in the cold... Forget about it.
In the explosive rant on social media, Fury labelled Joshua an "idiot" and a "coward" before claiming that his rival never actually wanted the fight.
"Always knew it. Always knew you didn’t have the minerals to fight the Gypsy King,” Fury continued. “Regardless of what the f*** you say now, I don’t really care. Good luck with your career, and your life. End of. Peace out.”
Joshua says he has every intention of signing the fight contract but is awaiting legal advice before doing so.
“It ain’t in my hands – it’s with a legal team. That’s why you hire lawyers,” Joshua said in an Instagram Live video.
“You know the history of boxing – make sure you get your legal terms right. That’s why you get good management and good lawyers,” he added. “So of course I’m going to sign the contract - it’s just with some lawyers at the minute.”
Joshua’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, already indicated there was “no chance” of getting a signed contract to Fury by Monday, with his team already accepting a 60-40 purse split in favour of the champion.
TV executives from BT Sport and streaming service Dazn were scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss broadcasting rights, with Fury's announcement no doubt throwing a spanner in the works of those talks.
Boxing fans turn on Tyson Fury
Fight fans were quick to take Fury to task over what was widely viewed as an unreasonable demand to have the contract signed by Monday.
Many boxing fans argued it was the 'Gypsy King' who was ducking the fight by coming out with a statement branded "pathetic" by some.
Tyson Fury really has turned into one of the biggest cIowns in Boxing...
— MIGHTYMax (@MIGHTYMaxBOXING) September 26, 2022
Tyson Fury is just wasting everyone’s time. DAZN and BT were meant to be meeting today to discuss the fight and then Fury says he’s pulling out same day at 5pm. Pathetic.
— Rocky Ali (@rockyaliboxing) September 26, 2022
Dillian Whyte on Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua: "Fury's putting pressure on, trying to use social media and being silly. Big fights take time. It's not as simple as, 'Sign the contract you dosser,' that doesn't work, but a lot of people just listen to what Fury says." [@SkySports]
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) September 26, 2022
Having to mute the words Tyson Fury thats how bad its got cant listen to it no more. If you really want to fight someone especially a fight like this you leave it to get sorted not deadlines every 2 minutes waffling shite, its clear to see who doesnt really want it. 🥱😴🤥
— Joe Selkirk (@JoeSelkirk69) September 26, 2022
Tyson Fury when he realized AJ was going to sign the contract: pic.twitter.com/bx3rn1waX7
— Samuel (@SugarRaySamuel) September 26, 2022
This era of boxing is so bad, tyson fury and his fans are the worst. This was always the play and u lot fell for it https://t.co/ZChlSv74IU
— respawnedtargaryen (@respawnedtarga1) September 26, 2022
Only Fury can get away with making people believe he wanted to fight AJ next.
Biggest HW fight in decades and given 10 days to agree a contract. Broadcasting situation will take weeks alone to agree.
Deadlines after deadline because AJ called the bluff and agreed key terms.
— The Boxing Network (@NetworkBoxing) September 26, 2022
Joshua suffered a second consecutive defeat to Usyk in Saudi Arabia last month, and Fury's hopes of a title unification match were dashed after the Ukrainian indicated he does not intend to return to the ring until 2023.
Usyk said after the fight in Jeddah that he was only interested in fighting Fury but media reports have said he will not fight again this year in order to rest and spend time with his family.
When Fury challenged Joshua the champion also said he would select another opponent if his fellow Briton was not interested in the bout.
Mahmoud Charr is looming as a potential alternative opponent for Fury after challenging the Briton on social media.
Fury reposted the German's challenge with a message saying: “If [Joshua] don’t sign today you are in big G and you can show them how a real man throws down!”
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