Teofimo Lopez Jr. may decide to take a break from boxing, according to reports.
Lopez told ringside reporters that he has "to take a break" from the sport soon after defeating Scotland's Josh Taylor on Saturday night at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City to win the WBO 140-pound title. Later, Lopez made the claim that he wasn't getting paid enough, arguing that he deserved to be paid more than $1 million to fight. In the post-fight interview on Saturday night, the Brooklyn native also stated that he will now focus on suing his ex-wife in the ongoing divorce process.
In a following Instagram post, Lopez, 25, reaffirmed his assertion regarding retirement.
“What a relief! Retired at the Top,” Lopez wrote in a post that featured an old picture of him and his father. ”Thank you Boxing for the amazing life you've provided for myself and my entire loved ones! THE DOUBLE-GREATEST.”
In an interview with The Porter Way Podcast, Lopez, who received harsh criticism from boxing fans for his divisive and odd comments in the days before Saturday's bout, elaborated on his claims of "retirement." Lopez stated that he will only return to boxing after receiving a "nine-figure contract" deal. Lopez maintained that he had given his broadcaster, ESPN, over $100 million and that as a result, he merits a higher salary. ESPN and Lopez's manager, Top Rank, have an exclusive content agreement.
“I think the only way you get Teo back is a nine-figure contract deal,” Lopez said. “Because I’ve made ESPN over a $100 million. I’m still getting paid a million dollars to fight while all these other fighters have not even done a quarter of what I’ve done and accomplished in the sport, they’re getting eight, 10, 12, 15 million dollars.
"So obviously I’m the black sheep of the industry and they’re really hurting me on that end. I really want to fix the sport of the boxing world and the corruption that’s going on.”
Lopez’s win over Taylor makes him a two-division titlist and seemingly redeems a career that appeared to be on the rocks for nearly the past two years, ever since he was upset by George Kambosos Jr.