Tyson Fury said that his feud with Anthony Joshua had failed as he would face a £58 million lawsuit if he did not fight Deontay Wilder.
The Gypsy King is set to face the Bronze Bomber for the third time in Las Vegas next month, but UK fans were desperate to see Britain battle it out against AJ.
Fury, 33, blew up his planned undisputed summer showdown by overlooking his contractual obligation for a trilogy match with Wilder – which he now faces on October 9.
AJ, 31, was furious about being led into what was to be the biggest fight in British boxing history and now has a dangerous – and less flashy – mandatory defense against Oleksandr Usyk on 25 September.
But in a recent interview with Gary Neville, Fury was in no mood to apologize.
He said: “I was never too optimistic about AJ’s fight.
“But all of a sudden, ‘It’s my fault, I don’t want to fight because I’m like s*** home’. Please.
“I’ll fight him here now and level him.”
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Neville, 46, later pushed back in the interview, saying: “He said he wanted you now.”
But Fury replied: “If I’ve got a rematch with Wilder how can he be with me anymore?
“Do you know how big the lawsuit was if I didn’t fight him? $80 million (£58m).”
Neville also hunted and said: “I’ve talked to him and he said it was you who backed down?”
‘I’m not optimistic’
Fury said: “Oh yes. I fought the best men in the world at their peak, but I’m scared of this chicken nugget?
“I’m not optimistic that the fight will ever happen. Joshua hasn’t fought a single heavyweight in his prime.”
Next month, Fury will make his first defense of the belt he was sensationally snatched from Wilder in his last bout 18 months ago.
The Gypsy King and Wilder were set to renew their rivalry in July this year, but Fury was forced to withdraw following a COVID outbreak at his camp.
Wilder remains unconvinced of the reason behind Fury’s early return and has now issued a dire warning ahead of the rescheduled event.
He told the American YouTube channel 78sportsTV: “If he does not show he will have to face the consequences, the punishments that have been prescribed.
“If he doesn’t fight, pay me what you’re supposed to pay me. Then you have to let go of that belt too.”
Wilder and Fury are each guaranteed to earn £3.9m in their February 2020 rematch, once pay-per-views and ticket sales have risen to £19.4m.
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