T. Lopez reiterates retirement intention to ESPN

Boxing

NEW YORK – Teofimo Lopez claimed retirement following a victory over Josh Taylor on Saturday to capture the WBO and lineal junior welterweight championship and reiterated that statement during an interview with ESPN’s Max Kellerman on Monday, but those close to Lopez told ESPN there’s no validity to claims his fighting days are over.

Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs) scored an impressive unanimous-decision win over Taylor in an upset to become a two-division champion but told reporters afterward that he was stepping away from boxing at age 25 followed by comments that he’s “not getting paid enough. A million dollars? Get the f— out of here.”

Lopez actually made approximately $2.3 million for the ESPN main event, per sources, though the New York State Athletic Commission listed his purse as $1.5 million (boxing purses are routinely much higher than those listed by the commission.)

Lopez, who fights out of Las Vegas, said on former champion Shawn Porter’s podcast on Sunday that he would only return to boxing if he’s offered a nine-figure contract.

When asked whom he wanted to face next in the deep 140-pound division, Lopez said both before and after the bout that his next fight would be in a court room for custody of his son, part of ongoing divorce proceedings.

“I’m a two-time undisputed world champion, technically the first male to ever do it, and am I going to get the push like they would push [Terence] Crawford or [Devin] Haney or anybody else, or Canelo [Alvarez] or [Tyson] Fury? No, I’m not going to get that push,” said Lopez, who held all four titles at lightweight. Taylor was the undisputed junior welterweight champion before he relinquished three of his four titles to pursue a rematch with Jack Catterall that never materialized.

The biggest viable matchup available to Lopez is a long-awaited meeting with undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney, who’s discussed the idea of moving up to 140 pounds for his next fight following his victory over Vasiliy Lomachenko last month. But Lopez shot down that potential fight during the interview with Kellerman.

“Haney’s not a fight for me; he sucks,” said Lopez, who defeated Lomachenko in October 2020 to capture four 135-pound titles. “That’s not somebody that gets me out my seat.”

Lopez said he would open a boxing gym in South Florida, where he grew up, and focus on training young fighters.

“They need that guidance,” Lopez said. “They need some structure as a role model, as an athlete, as an entrepreneur, whatever it may be. I’m really striving for those goals and I really could turn [them] into reality.”

Fighters claiming retirement, only to return soon thereafter, is not an uncommon occurrence in boxing. Just last year, heavyweight champion Tyson Fury said he was retired after he stopped Dillian Whyte in April, only to announce in August he would fight Derek Chisora in December.

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