Imagine if Twitter had been around when Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier were caught up in THE grudge-match series to end all grudge-match series. Back then, in the 1970s, fighters had to make do with up close and personal verbal attacks on one another when it came to attempts at shifting tickets and scoring mental points over your opponent. Ali and Frazier met in a number of staged taunting sessions, with the two all-time greats also engaging in some over the telephone exchanges. But today, fighter A can get well and truly under the skin of fighter B without even having to move out of his armchair.
Twitter has seen its share of interesting at the time, yet soon forgettable banter between top name fighters, and someone like Ali, who was quit of wit and genuinely amusing with some of his trash talk, would no doubt have enjoyed himself immensely on Twitter when getting ready for a big fight. The latest two big name fighters to have participated in a Twitter war of words are rival British heavyweights Tyson Fury (a Twitter regular if ever there was one!) and Anthony Joshua – this despite the fact that the two are not set to fight any time soon and may never actually meet in the ring.
Fury started the row off by stating how Joshua is merely a “weightlifter with no idea how to defend himself.” Fury added how Charles Martin, who defends his IBF belt against Joshua this Saturday, will knock him out unless Joshua “finds a miracle.”
Joshua has fired back and the Twitter war is now well and truly on between the two giants.
“Keep praying for my downfall fat boy,” Joshua wrote, adding how Fury is jealous of his “beach body.”
Fury replied how no way is he jealous of a “weightlifter who is fighting for a paper title.”
Joshua wrote how he will reserve a ringside seat for Fury, so Fury can come and congratulate him the way he did Martin when he won the belt he himself was stripped of.
And Fury wrote how he hopes Joshua can get the win on Saturday, so that he can earn “a lot of money, for an easy fight.”
All this is fine and dandy, but will Fury and Joshua actually climb into the ring with one another and settle their differences? If not, all this back and forth stuff will be for nothing. It will of course be great for British boxing if Joshua can win on Saturday, as the UK will then have two recognised world heavyweight champions. And if Fury can repeat his big win over Wladimir Klitschko, the two could then get it on in what would be the first-ever heavyweight unification clash between two British heavyweight champions in Britain.
How big would that be? Big enough for many more fighters to continue to use Twitter as a platform for calling out opponents who will make them millions!