An Australian newspaper mocked Russell Crowe for smoking and shoveling down a fatty meal during a recent bike ride, so the notoriously salty actor set out to prove he is still in gladiator shape - by challenging the paper's gossip columnist to a duel by bicycle.

Crowe, who has been photographed looking slimmer in recent months, was apparently none too pleased by a column published in Sydney's The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday entitled "Smokes and fatty foods the fitness regime for Rusty."