Anthony Joshua has revealed the reason behind his recent foul-mouthed Twitter rant directed at Tyson Fury.
The WBA, IBF and IBO heavyweight champion confused his over a million Twitter followers when he told Fury to "get fit you fat f**k" in what was an uncharacteristic display of trash-talking from the Briton, which at the time of writing, has over 64,000 retweets.
It was in response to the "Gypsy King", who had been trash-talking Joshua repeatedly on Twitter ever since it emerged that the two unbeaten heavyweights could face each other in 2018.
Fury later responded to the tweet by posting a video on Instagram: "This is a message to the weightlifter, big Anthony Joshua, the big tough man that told me to "get fit fat f***".
"To be honest with you my old mate, I don't need to get fit for somebody like you at all. I could come to you right now and punch your all your face right in for you even at 25st."
Joshua has since opened up about the foul-mouthed tweet, stating that he had to bite back at Fury, who was barking way too much.
"I try to be professional but remember this is a fighting sport and you have to meet fire with fire now and again," Joshua told Sport360.
"Sometimes if a dog barks at you so many times, the other dog needs to bite back and make sure the other dog puts his tail between his legs. And that's what you have to do with Tyson Fury sometimes. And that's all it was, I just had to bite back.
"I'm not one of these dogs that stay in the garden barking for hours, I make my noise – and that's it – until we fight I don't need to be hollering and yelling for days and for months."
Meanwhile, Fury has been back in the gym as he recently posted footage of him in a session working the pads. Despite still being overweight, the 29-year-old's boxing and movement was as impressive as ever as he hopes to fight Joshua next year.
However, "AJ" — who previously claimed he would fight Fury as well as unify the belts against Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker in 2018 — now states that he is unlikely the fight the trio all in a calendar year.
"There's a lot of talk about 2018 in my career. It's seems like this is the grand finale," he added. "(But) even though there's a lot of talk – in reality, it isn't going to be like Joseph Parker, Wilder and Tyson Fury all in one year."