Teofimo Lopez says he owes it to boxing to pay it forward. | Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Teofimo Lopez says he’s had a tough time trying to negotiate his next big fight after his last performance against Josh Taylor.

During an interview with ProBox TV, Teofimo Lopez touches on a number of topics including the time he announced his retirement from boxing, to his upcoming title defense against Jamaine Ortiz, whom he has a past with. Check out some excerpts with the full video interview above.

Lopez on his past retirement announcement

“I’m not retired, man. I think I just did that for the downtime. I needed some time off, spend some quality time with my son.”

On facing Jamaine Ortiz and their history from the amateurs

“‘The Technician,’ they say. And this guy, he faced Vasiliy Lomachenko, a former opponent that I faced and champion. So, Jamaine Ortiz, we go back like nine years. We faced each other in the 2015 National Golden Glove finale and it was a great scrap up. Everyone knows the National Golden Golves is a very tough competition to win, let alone even get there and compete. So I know I’m facing somebody that definitely got the skill set to give me a run for my money.”

“When it came to Ortiz, I didn’t want this fight, I was trying every other fight from Haney, Kambosos — we even went down to Jose Ramirez and he said he wasn’t ready for Feb. 8. A lot of these fighters blow up in weight. After I beat Josh Taylor I took six weeks out…and what did I do? I actually started training.

“It was very hard to make these fights happen; nobody wants to face me after the performance that I did with Josh Taylor.”

On how he maintains his passion for the sport

“Boxing made who I am today, so all I can do is pay it forward. That’s the only thing that keeps my passion brewing, keeps that flame, that burning heart…I think that I let boxing have its moment of trying out all these other fighters, I let my wife test out and touch all these other boxers, and she said ‘I want you back.’

“I said ‘aw man, I don’t want to do this. I’m very at peace with my life right now.’..but you know something? She needs me. She don’t want to die in the sport. And I say that wholeheartedly because if we keep this up, if we let these suit and tie men take over boxing who never laced up boxing gloves let alone take a punch to the face, where we’re going to end up going is no more boxing. This is why I came back. This is a takeover for that reason.”

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