If Tyson Fury needed any extra motivation to get back in shape then Anthony Joshua provided it earlier this month.
Joshua, fed up of being antagonised by Fury on social media and via the press, sent the now infamous “get fit you fat f***” tweet to his fellow Brit back on November 9.
And that’s precisely what Fury’s doing.
The 29-year-old, who admits he went from 18 stone to 27 due to drug and alcohol abuse, has posted numerous videos of himself in training over the past few weeks as he prepares to make his long-awaited return to boxing.
Fury is expected to make his comeback in early 2018 after signing a management deal with MTK Global. The Manchester-born fighter is currently awaiting the results of a doping hearing, which is due to be held next month. If successful, he will receive a new boxing license before the end of the year.
It’s unclear who Fury might fight when he does receive the green light to return to the sport.
If he could pick any opponent, though, it would of course be Joshua.
Fury reckons he would beat Joshua - even now
Fury is convinced he could defeat British boxing’s golden boy - as he let him know via Twitter last month.
The former heavyweight champion of the world, who hasn’t fought since his superb victory over Wladimir Klitschko back in November 2015, told Joshua that he will stop him inside eight round if they end up going head-to-head inside the ring.
Since then, Fury has been getting himself fitter and sharper with a little help from Ricky Hatton, who put the heavyweight through his paces at his gym last week.
Hatton knows what would happen if Fury fights Joshua
But does Hatton believe Fury would stand a serious chance against the undefeated Joshua?
Speaking exclusively to the Manchester Evening News, Hatton seems totally convinced that Fury would win.
"I wouldn't say this for it to backfire on me, but I think he'd stand Joshua on his head," Hatton told MEN Sport.
"If Joshua nails him like he nails anyone then there is every chance he will knock him out, but with Tyson's speed and movement and added weight, I think it will work in his favour if he fights Joshua.
"I've met Joshua and he is a lovely guy and is doing our country proud. He's a great role model and athlete but if Fury can get this blubber off then he'll do it!
"He was training in my gym for the last two weeks and I've seen him on the pads and stuff like that and his speed, timing and movement is great.
"I put the photo on the internet of our bellies but don't go off appearances, he's not miles away. He's lost around four stone in the last couple of months and when he trims down a little bit more I think he'll still be the best out there."
Hatton thinks he knows the real Tyson Fury
Fury would stand Joshua on his head? That’s a massive shout from Hatton, who believes he knows the real Tyson Fury.
"Tyson is like me,” Hatton added. We are what we are and the wheels could come off at any time. He's been a mate of mine for years and I want him to do so well.
"He's a controversial character and sometimes he opens his mouth and we think Tyson what are you doing, but when you get to know him he's the nicest guy in the world.
"He wants to prove everybody wrong, and it was the same for me. Everybody would look at the size of me and say he'll never come back, and that became the motivation.
"Tyson will do the same. A lot of people thought he'll never fight again but if he comes back and beats Joshua it's history talking stuff."
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