Anthony Joshua says that his decision to hit out at Tyson Fury on Twitter was brought about by a need to “fight fire with fire”, ESPN reports.
Joshua, who stopped Carlos Takam in the 10th round to defend his heavyweight titles at the Principality Stadium last month, targeted the former WBA, WBO and IBO title holder as part of a stunning outburst on Twitter.
Although heavyweight title rivals Joseph Parker and Deontay Wilder were included in Joshua’s tweets, it was Fury who bore the brunt of the 28-year-old’s attacks, with the ‘Gypsy King’ being told to “get fit you fat f—”.
“I feel like he says a lot of negative things about me, time and time again,” Joshua explained in an interview with Sport360.
“I try to be professional but remember this is a fighting sport and you have to meet fire with fire now and again.
“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,” he continued. “And that’s what you have to do with Tyson Fury sometimes. And that’s all it was, I just had to bite back.”
With Fury reportedly eyeing a return to boxing in 2018, Joshua – not known for badmouthing other fighter – claimed that there would not be a repeat of the uncharacteristic outburst until the pair meet in the ring.
“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.
“That’s not what I like to do. I address the situation and I put it into the back of my mind. I address what’s relevant.”
Joshua is also looking to organise unification matchups with WBC champion Wilder and WBO belt-holder Parker in his quest to claim all heavyweight world titles, but admits he is unlikely to face all three opponents in 2018.