NOTE: Victor Ortiz was eliminated from Tuesday's "Dancing with the Stars" episode. This interview was conducted before this week's action.
Former welterweight boxing champion Victor Ortiz is ready to throw in the towel on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" and jump back in the ring.
Ortiz (29-4-2) lost his past two fights -- a controversial knockout against Floyd Mayweather to relinquish his championship in 2011 and his comeback fight against Josesito Lopez in 2012 -- and joined the dancing show while recuperating from a broken jaw.
"I desperately miss boxing. As a matter of fact, I just called my management to schedule me a fight already," said Ortiz, who is one of the eight remaining celebrity contestants. "I have a huge chip on my shoulders now. Boxing is what I'm born to do."
Playbook had a few minutes with Ortiz to talk about dancing, boxing and what's ahead.
How desperate are you to get back in the ring?
"I'm ready to be world champion again. Anyone in my way at 147-154 pounds had better move aside. This is my passion. This is what I love to do. No ifs, ands or buts."
You broke your jaw in the fight against Lopez. How much does that loss still sting?
"I just took it as a speed bump. That was just a fluke. Watch the video. I destroyed him the whole fight. It was a lucky fluke that he hit me like that. I destroyed him, period. Look how he was knocked out the next fight."
I know you're not going to quit the dancing show as you're consistently in the middle of the pack, but why do you think it's time to go?
"I came into the competition to try to win. As of right now, I haven't given up, but I don't feel I can actually win this thing. I'm just trying to stay alive. I'm trying to enjoy it for what it's worth."
What's been the worst part of it?
"I love performing on Mondays, but I hate coming into the studio to train. Let me rephrase that: I strongly dislike it. I dislike the fact that I'm in a room for six or seven hours and doing something not in my element. It's not my world. I'm really uncomfortable."
I assume that also comes from being a perfectionist.
"It's a lot more work than I expected. I just don't want to put in the work. I will when it comes to boxing. But when I mess up while dancing, it gets overwhelming. You feel helpless. When I don't nail something to perfection, it sucks."
People would assume boxing and dancing using footwork would go hand-in-hand.
"Boxing and dancing have nothing in common. It might make your feet lighter, but that's it. Don't get me wrong: I love to dance. I love those Mondays when everything is done. It's just the rest of the week I dislike."
So when you're off the show, it's vacation and then training, right?
"I need to vent and head off to some far-off destination. I just don't know where. It's been a very strange few years for me. I really thought I'd still be reigning world champion forever and ever. I got those losses. I broke my jaw. But now that I'm healthy, I'm ready to conquer again. And I'm ready to grab a few world championship titles."