Middleweight number one Covington has repeated the attack he launched on James last month, wearing a t-shirt bearing the slogan “F*ck LeBron” while standing on a beach between two grinning women in bikinis.

Speaking in the aftermath of James and the Lakers beating Miami Heat to win the NBA title, Covington blamed the Most Valuable Player in the finals for figures that showed audience numbers had been more than 50% down on last year’s deciding series.

“Congratulations are in order for my good buddy, LeBron James,” sneered Covington, in between promoting a gambling partnership.

“Congrats, LeBron, on setting the record for the least-watched NBA finals in history.

“You wish you could blame it on the pandemic but everybody’s just sick of your woke bullsh*t.

“And while the NBA’s ratings are going down, the UFC’s are going up. Just like our bank accounts.”

Covington has posed with the republican candidate for photo opportunities at one of his presidential rallies, met the head of state at the White House and repeatedly worn clothing wearing Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

James, by contrast, was named as a “hater” by the president this week, who said he would not watch the finals and would pick former great Michael Jordan over the Lakers legend because of James’s outspoken criticism of the presiding government and support for movements including Black Lives Matter.

The forward hit back by telling Trump that his gaze would not be missed during the finals, which the Lakers won 4-2.

After a bad-tempered, politically-stoked build-up to his resounding victory over Tyron Woodley, which the president had pledged to watch, Covington used his post-fight interview to savage James and other sportspeople who oppose his fiercely-held outlook.

“I want to dedicate this fight to all the first responders, all the military out there,” he announced.

“This world would not be safe without you guys. You keep us safe – not these ‘woke’ athletes.

“I’m sick of these ‘woke’ athletes and these spineless cowards, like LeBron James.”

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