10 heavyweight champions who ducked their closest rivals – from John L Sullivan to Riddick Bowe via Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes

THERE are obviously reasons why Tyson Fury is fighting Deontay Wilder again and not Anthony Joshua, who in turn is busying himself with Kubrat Pulev, but the desire to see the No.1 and No.2 collide is greater than ever before.

The longer it doesn’t happen, the more likely it gets that it never will, which would be a great shame. But it’s not the first-time boxing fans have been denied or made to wait for their dream match of big men.

Heavyweight history is immersed in accusations where a top dog in the division was ducked at one time or another. Here are 10 former titleholders who at one time avoided their most deserving opponent, making him wait an unreasonably long time for an opportunity or not boxing him altogether.

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