Tyson Fury has reversed his retirement from boxing. The controversial WBA and WBO heavyweight champion appeared to abruptly end his professional career earlier on Monday (3 October) with an expletive-filled statement on Twitter - but Fury has now claimed he was only joking.

Fury, 28, ended Wladimir Klitschko's 11-year reign at the top of the heavyweight division last November with a shock points victory in Dusseldorf, Germany. But his own time as champion has been beset by controversy, including recent allegations that he had tested positive for cocaine in the build-up to his much-anticipated rematch against the 40-year-old Ukrainian.

"Boxing is the saddest thing I ever took part in, all a pile of s**t, I'm the greatest, & I'm also retired, so go suck a d**k, happy days (sic)," he wrote on Twitter.

However, Fury has since revealed that his initial tweet was not sincere. "Hahahaha u think you will get rid of the GYPSYKING that easy!!! I'm here to stay. #TheGreatest just shows u what the Medea are like. Tut tut (sic)," he wrote.

Since becoming the heavyweight champion last year, Fury has twice withdrawn from a contracted rematch with Klitschko.

On the first occasion, Fury cited an ankle injury as the reason for postponing the fight. However, on the same day, Fury and his cousin Hughie were both were charged by UK Anti-Doping over the "presence of a prohibited substance", which they have strongly denied.

More recently, Fury postponed the rescheduled Klitschko rematch on 23 September after he was declared "medically unfit" to take to the ring. Once again, though, the situation was clouded in mystery as ESPN reported the champion has tested positive for cocaine.

In a subsequent tweet, Fury – who has been accused of making homophobic and sexist comments throughout his controversial reign – posted a picture of himself as Tony Montana from the movie Scarface, in which the central character is a cocaine-addled drug lord.