Tyson Fury has dismissed Anthony Joshua’s vow to “knock his head off” as a downright lie.
Fury and Joshua are locked in talks over a £200million mega-fight which is pencilled in for May or June.
The winner would be crowned the first undisputed heavyweight world champion since Lennox Lewis in 2000 – if all four belts are on the line.
Joshua has promised to take the fight to Fury and ensure there is no lingering doubt over the best heavyweight on the planet.
But Fury has swatted aside his rival’s plan, telling Fox Miami : “This fight has been brewing for a long time. They have been avoiding me for a long time and now it’s finally got to happen.
“They either run away from the fight and announce it publicly, or take the fight; either way it’s a lose-lose situation for him.
“It’s a nice quote but it doesn’t mean anything, it’s sticks and stones. People say a lot of stuff and they don’t back it up, so we’ll see.
“I’ve never seen him take anybody’s head off anybody’s shoulders in all of his 22 fights [so it’s] probably a lie… another lie.
“We’ll see if he’s got the guts to try and do it when I’m stood in the ring in front of him. I don’t believe he has.
“I don’t think he’s as good as people crack him up to be, or he doesn’t believe he is, in his own self.
“He’s got a confidence issue; he’s coming off two shaky performances.
“Boxing is all about who is in form and who isn’t an on his last two fights he’s not in form, on mine I am. The momentum is with me and I just believe I take him out early, very early; maybe even one round, two rounds.”
Joshua and Fury agreed terms in principle last year to split the purse down the middle.
The fight was dependent on Joshua beating his mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev which he did with a ninth-round stoppage.
The British rivals are expected to fight twice with the first meeting likely to take place in the Middle East.