Anthony Joshua claims Tyson Fury randomly phones him to say he will ‘knock him out’

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Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury are two of the most popular figures in boxing for a reason.

Few would deny that Fury is one of the best around at mind games, while Joshua is happy to stand his ground when it comes his way.

The latter will arguably be fighting for his career when he faces Andy Ruiz Jr on December 7 in Saudi Arabia, and Fury hasn’t been shy about telling him.

"If you can't beat Andy Ruiz Jr, you can't do anything to Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder - or any other decent heavyweight in the world," he told IFL TV, per The Sun.

"If he can't beat Andy Ruiz Jr in the rematch, he's finished - DONE, finished, goodnight, bye-bye.

"If he can't beat Ruiz in the rematch he needs to retire - simple as, forget about it, give it up as a bad job.

"He's done well out of it, he's had a few quid, he's won a world title before and everything else that goes with it so fair play to him."

In response, Joshua said: "Who is he to talk? Did he help me get into boxing to tell me when I should leave at? No one can tell me when to retire except for me.

"That’s how I look it. Unless you were the one to take me into boxing like my old man was the one that took me down to the gym.

"And if he said, ‘son, I think you should retire,’ if no one’s helped me get into it no one should tell me when to get out of it."

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Their trash-talking apparently goes beyond the public eye, though, with Joshua claiming Fury has phoned him several times to tell him he’s going to ‘knock him out’.

"He's an interesting character. Tyson will call me randomly on the phone and he will be like, 'have a little laugh and I will have a little laugh’," the 29-year-old told Sky Sports, via The Sun.

"Then I will say I'm going to knock you out, then he will say, 'shut up I'll knock you out.

"That's just me and Tyson, through and through the respect's there but we're fighting men."

Tyson Fury v Tom Schwarz

You could be forgiven for thinking the pair are actually closer than their strange public relationship might suggest, but Joshua insists that isn’t the case.

When asked if he and Fury are friends, he replied: "Not friends, not friends, not friends but there's a mutual respect there, I respect the man, he's done his thing."

Joshua also said he would "love to fight" Fury someday, which will be music to the ears of fans who dream of watching two of Britain’s best go toe-to-toe in the ring.

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