Tyson Fury responded to Anthony Joshua’s call-out by asking his British heavyweight rival to help him ‘make boxing great again’.
Olympic gold medalist Joshua looks set to face Wladimir Klitschko in a November rematch for his IBF and WBA titles after their Wembley classic in April.
The 27-year-old, 19-0 with all his wins coming by knockout, has admitted however that a fight with Fury, who ended Klitschko’s more than decade-long unbeaten back in November 2015, would be “top of his list”.
Fury was swift to respond in a video on Instagram.
“The world wants to see it because I am still the lineal heavyweight champion and everybody knows that,” said the Morecambe fighter.
“I walked away from boxing because I wasn’t interested - there were no challengers there. I beat the best man there was.
“But now it seems that I’ve been out two years and there are a few more challengers.
“People think that you can beat me. I don’t think you can, personally.
“Let me get my situation on track, get fit and then I’ll fight you. May the best man win.”
He then added in a separate post: “Let’s make boxing great again.”
Should a rematch with Klitschko not materialise, Joshua will have to face the IBF’s mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev.
He is well aware however that a British superfight with Fury would likely eclipse his Wembley blockbuster with Klitschko and is the clash that fans up and down the land want to see.
“It’s big, it’s interesting, it makes a lot of sense,” said Joshua in an interview with Sky Sports News.
“I listen to what people want and I listen to what fighters want.
“Tyson is making a lot of noise, making it clear he would like to fight me.
“I’ve been patient, after he beat Klitschko hopefully I would have been in line to fight Fury, but he had his own issues so I stayed on my own path.
“Now I’m in a position where I can say, Tyson, when you are back and ready, it is a fight people want to see, so let’s try and make something work and live up to what people want to see.”
There are plenty of obstacles for Fury to overcome though.
The British Boxing Board of Control will not lift his suspension until his UK Anti-Doping case has been resolved.
The 28-year-old lost his boxing licence last October, a day after he vacated his IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles citing depression.
However, the Morecambe fighter had already failed a drugs test in the United States for cocaine and been charged with the use of a prohibited substance by UKAD, something he and cousin Hughie deny.