Former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury today took to social media in a series of provocative tweets to lay down a firm challenge to fellow Brit Anthony Joshua.
I'm that good I don't need any warmups I can come off the couch & beat up on @anthonyfjoshua don't run your big arse in the bush,— TYSON2FASTFURY (@Tyson_Fury) January 3, 2018
Let's fight this summer!!! @SkySportsBoxing @SkyUK @boxnationtv @BTSportBoxing @HBOboxing @Showtime @RTLde @ITVSport #GYPSYKING LETS ROCK U BIG BUM!
Fury hasn't fought since defeating Wladimir Klitschko in November, 2015 following a dispute with the United Kingdom's Anti-Doping agency (UKAD).
The 29-year-old suffered problems with drugs and depression after losing his heavyweight crown, causing Fury's weight balloon during his long exile.
However, the self-styled "Gypsy King" has reportedly lost four stone while training alongside former two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton.
As a sporting challenge I Lay Down the challenge for @anthonyfjoshua to fight me in my first fight back in over 2.5 years! I'm the best heavyweight on the planet come prove I'm not? The ball is in your court don't let your fans down CHAMP #wanttoseehowgoodiam— TYSON2FASTFURY (@Tyson_Fury) January 3, 2018
Joshua currently holds the WBA 'super', IBO and IBF championships and has been in talks over a fight against fellow unbeaten heavyweight Joseph Parker.
The bout between Joshua and Parker has yet to be finalised but promoter Eddie Hearn claimed in December that he remains "very hopeful" that a deal will be concluded.
Alexander Povetkin stands as the mandatory challenger to Joshua's WBA belt following his win over Christian Hammer in December, making it extremely unlikely that Fury will be Joshua's next fight.