JOSHUA VS. FURY: Fight talk on and off

Tyson Fury said he licked blood off rival Deontay Wilder during their rematch to “feel what my prey tasted like” – but has vented his frustrations over the apparently slow progress on arranging a showdown with Anthony Joshua.

Fury stopped the previously undefeated Wilder in the seventh round of the pair’s contest in Las Vegas 12 months ago, dominating the American throughout the fight on the way to winning the WBC title.

During one clinch in round six, Fury was seen appearing to lick blood on Wilder’s neck in a display of relish at how the fight was unfolding.

Unbeaten lineal king Fury, 32, has now revealed what was behind an act which at the time made waves across social media.

“Like a vampire. In the pre-fight interview, I said I wanted to taste Deontay Wilder’s blood this time,” the Brit fighter told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “So I had an opportunity to do it there in round six, so I had to taste his blood just so I could get the feeling of what my prey tasted like.

“I was like a hunter that night, I was a lion and he was a gazelle. A large gazelle. And I took him down and that was it, game over…

“Animal instinct comes out inside the boxing ring and it’s either him or you.”

The Gypsy King admitted that the move had been “weird” – joking that there were also hygiene factors to think about.

“But it is weird because I’ve not noticed anyone lick anyone else’s blood before – I hope he didn’t have any germs or anything! Or else I’ve got his cooties now baby,” Fury said.

That fight saw Fury defeat a man whom he had fought to a draw in their thrilling previous match-up in December of 2018.

Much of 2020 had been spent wrangling over a trilogy fight, with Wilder trotting out a host of explanations for his defeat, from being hindered by his heavy walk-in outfit to Fury supposedly cheating by tampering with his gloves.