The five biggest boxing matches that never happened include Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua and the mysterious Mike Tyson

BOXING fans took another gut punch following the collapse of Tyson Fury’s fight with Oleksandr Usyk.

The historic title unification would have seen all four heavyweight belts at stake for the first time in history.

But despite terms being agreed, talks broke down at the 11th hour amid a row over financials for a potential rematch.

It proved to be a far too familiar story with yet another blockbuster bout facing the KO.

Here, SunSport runs down five infamous tales of when fights failed to materialise.

Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua

Eerily similar, Britain’s two best had everything in place to unify the belts in Saudi Arabia in August 2021.

But Fury was contracted to a trilogy bout against Deontay Wilder, which the American forced through following a lengthy court case.

AJ instead went on to fight and lose to Usyk, who kept onto the belts in their subsequent rematch.

It set him up to replace Joshua in a fight with Fury – who had beaten Wilder again – but we have all seen the sad state of recent affairs.

Although in a shock twist, AJ’s promoter Eddie Hearn hopes the collapse of talks with Usyk could see Joshua instead fight Fury next.

Anthony Joshua vs Deontay Wilder

The year is 2019 and it is Fury looking on from the outside with Joshua and Wilder owning the WBA, IBF, WBO and WBC titles respectively.

And sports streaming service DAZN and Hearn were ready to prise Wilder over to jump ship.

He was said to have been offered a three-bout deal – including a pair of fights with AJ – worth around £80m.

But Wilder opted to reject it and stay with PBC and Showtime, going on to twice lose to Fury in their trilogy epic following their 2018 draw.

The Bronze Bomber remains on the comeback trail with a score-settling showdown with Joshua among his current options.

Lennox Lewis vs Vitali Klitschko II

Lewis was taken to the brink of defeat by Klitschko in their 2003 classic.

But Klitschko was pulled out in round six following a horror cut, declaring Lewis the winner.

The Ukrainian was ahead of the judges scorecards and in control of the bout, causing demand for a rematch.

Klitschko went on to defeat Kirk Johnson and become mandatory for Lewis’ WBC title.

But the British legend would later announce his retirement in 2004, causing the rematch to fall through.

Lennox Lewis vs Riddick Bowe

The heavyweight stars looked on course for a big rematch after Lewis beat Bowe in the 1988 Olympics.

But the two could never see eye to eye in the professional ranks, meaning their super-fight went to waste.

Quite literally when Bowe held a press conference in 1992 to throw his WBC belt in the bin to avoid facing Lewis.

It meant Lewis was crowned the champion by the WBC but he never got the chance to share the ring with Bowe again.

Only last year did the two appear to squash their near-four decade long feud as Bowe approached Lewis at a fight night and shook his hand.

Mike Tyson vs George Foreman

Foreman was on a comeback trail in the 90s while Tyson struggled to keep consistency in his career.

They even shared the same card in 1990 and looked on a collision course to clash.

But Tyson would spend three years in jail for a 1992 while Foreman became the oldest heavyweight champ in history aged 45.

But by the time Tyson was released, Foreman soon lost his titles and later admitted he never really wanted to fight Iron Mike.

He told ESPN in 2019: “If he missed you with his left, then missed you with his right, he’d bite you. I didn’t want to have anything to do with that. I didn’t want him.”

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