UFC interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall recently voiced his concerns regarding the present landscape of professional boxing.
Regarding the state of the sport, the heavyweight champion had some unflattering remarks to make. He reiterated long-standing grievances held by a number of boxing fans, namely that the best boxers never square off when they are at their best because of politics outside the ring.
In a candid interview on talkSport, Aspinall lamented the lack of competitive spirit in boxing. He expressed disappointment over instances like Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua featuring on the same card yet facing different opponents.
Aspinall emphasized, “You can look at an Eddie Hearn show, a Frank Warren show… Say there’s 10 fights on, you can know at least 8 of the winners before the bell rings on any of the fights. I can’t stand it. Just look at [Joshua and Wilder], we’re talking about the top guys in the world. None of them are fighting each other.”
Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn was recently asked about the UFC champion’s remarks during a recent interview with ESBR Boxing. Hearn countered by suggesting that Aspinall could achieve significantly higher earnings in boxing compared to the UFC.
He said: “Tom Aspinall could enter boxing and make 5x more money than he could ever make in the UFC. So it can’t be in that bad a place. But we definitely need to make some changes. I think boxing’s been in the best place it’s ever been… The frustration in boxing of the best vs. the best. We don’t have the benefit of fighter contracts like the UFC do.”
Aspinall claimed the interim heavyweight championship title following a decisive victory over Sergei Pavlovich at UFC 295. This win occurred after Jon Jones’ withdrawal from a scheduled bout against Stipe Miocic due to a severe pectoral muscle injury.
UFC CEO Dana White said after Aspinall’s victory against Pavlovich that he still planned to match Jones against Miocic, which put the interim champion in a difficult situation.
In response to this situation, Aspinall proposed a match against Stipe Miocic during Jon Jones’ recovery period since it is estimated to sideline Jones for approximately 8 months.
Speaking on the Fight Disciple podcast, Aspinall articulated: “Me and Stipe makes the most sense out of anybody. He’s ready to fight. He goes down as the greatest heavyweight of all time. It makes all the sense in the world, let’s do me and Stipe, and then the winner will fight Jones.”