TYSON FURY said his clash with Anthony Joshua fell through because he faced a £58million lawsuit if he didn't fight Deontay Wilder.
The Gypsy King is set to face the Bronze Bomber for a third time in Las Vegas next month but UK fans were desperate to see a Battle of Britain against AJ.
Fury, 33, blew their planned undisputed summer showdown by overlooking his contractual obligation to a trilogy bout with Wilder – who he now faces on October 9.
AJ, 31, was fuming about being led on about the biggest fight in British boxing history and now has a dangerous – and less lucrative – mandatory defence against Oleksandr Usyk on September 25 instead.
But in a recent interview with Gary Neville, Fury was in no mood for apologies.
He said: "I was never very optimistic about that AJ fight happening.
"But all of a sudden, 'It's my fault, I don't want to fight 'cause I'm a s***house'. Please.
"I'll fight him on here now and flatten him."
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Neville, 46, pushed back later in the interview and said: "He said he wants you now."
But Fury retorted: "How can he have me now if I've got a rematch with Wilder?
"Do you know how much the suing case was if I don't fight him? $80million (£58m)."
Nevile also pried and said: "I have spoken to him and he did say it was you that backed out?"
'I'M NOT OPTIMISTIC'
Fury said: "Oh yeah. I fought the best men in the world at their prime, but I'm scared of this chicken nugget?
"I'm not optimistic that the fight will ever happen. Joshua's not fought one heavyweight in his prime."
Next month, Fury will be making the first defence of the belt he sensationally snatched from Wilder in their 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 after a Covid outbreak in his camp.
Wilder remains unconvinced by the reason behind Fury’s initial withdrawal and has now issued a stark warning ahead of the rescheduled event.
He told American told YouTube channel 78SportsTV: “If he doesn’t show up he's going to have to suffer the consequences, the penalties that have been set forth.
“If he doesn’t fight, then pay me what you're supposed to pay me. Then you have to give up that belt as well.”
Wilder and Fury each went into their February 2020 rematch guaranteed to earn £3.9million, rising to £19.4m once pay-per-view and ticket sales were totted up.
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