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Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua engage in volatile war of words as highly anticipated fight appears to fall apart

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British boxer Anthony Joshua wins back his world heavyweight titles in Saudi Arabia Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

A highly anticipated title fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua appears to be dead in the water again, and the British heavyweights are going after each other on social media.

It was just a few days ago that Fury announced Aug. 14 as the date for his showdown with Joshua after Saudi Arabia reportedly paid a massive site fee to host the heavyweights in a title unification bout. It all fell apart after an arbitrator ruled in favor of Deontay Wilder that he was due per his contract for an automatic rematch against Fury before Sept. 15.

There was some chatter that perhaps Wilder would accept a hefty fee to step aside to allow Fury and Joshua to clash, which would then set him up to face the winner, but it appears that isn’t going to happen.

As a result, Joshua blasted Fury on social media on Wednesday for touting their fight as a done deal when he knew there was ongoing arbitration that could sink the planned Aug. 15 date.

“Tyson Fury, the world now sees you for the fraud you are,” Joshua wrote 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.”

That led to a fiery response from Fury, who appeared ready to fight Joshua without any promoters getting involved whatsoever.

“[You’re] more full of sh*t than Eddie [Hearn], spouting absolute sh*te!” Fury said. “Your full team knew there was an arbitration going on, it was out of my hands! But I tell you what, if I’m a fraud, let’s fight this weekend. Bare knuckles till one man quits? Let’s put up $20 million each!”

Of course, Joshua wasn’t biting at Fury’s latest challenge.

“If there was an arbitration going on, why announce to the world we are fighting,” he wrote. “The fight was signed. Undisputed. Bare knuckle? You’re a good kid, don’t play with me Luke! I’ll slap your bald head and you’ll do nothing. Waste man.”

By all accounts, it seems like Fury and Joshua are moving on from the proposed August date as the heavyweights look towards different matchups entirely.

“Not going into the details online,” Fury said in response. “You’ll slap me about will you dosser please come and try bum, I’m waiting. Femi aka bottlejob 24/7, 365. Ready. I’ll smoke Wilder first then you will get yours as well.”

Fury’s U.S. promoter Bob Arum has already said he reserved a July 24 date at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, which would serve as the home for Fury vs. Wilder 3. Meanwhile, Joshua would likely move onto a fight against Oleksandr Usyk, who is the mandatory challenger for his WBO heavyweight title.

While nothing is set in stone just yet, all signs are pointing toward Fury and Joshua facing different opponents next with no promise that they would then move onto face each other later this year or possibly later in 2022.