Arnold Barboza Jr. doesn’t appreciate how Teofimo Lopez views him as a stepping stone.

Barboza, the 30-year-old 140-pound contender from Los Angeles, figured he was a frontrunner to face Lopez, the former lightweight champion, in the latter’s debut at junior welterweight earlier this year. The two share the same promoter in Top Rank.

The nod, however, went to Pedro Campa, who ended up suffering a technical knockout loss to Lopez in their 10-round bout at Resorts World Arena Las Vegas in Las Vegas last month. It was Lopez’s first fight since his upset points loss to George Kambosos last year.

While Barboza is still anxiously angling for a fight with Lopez, the feeling does not seem to be mutual. In a recent interview, Barboza explained the origins of his animus with Lopez — the two have traded words over the past few months — while trying to make a case for himself as the best opponent for Lopez at this time. Barboza also called Lopez “entitled” for thinking he can compete for all four belts in the division so soon.

“He did another interview and called me a tuneup fight for January and right when he said tuneup fight that’s when it got me mad,” Barboza said on The DAZN Boxing Show. “Then all the talk about how he right away wanted to come into the division and fight for all four belts when it’s, like, he hasn’t done sh!t in our division. Know what I mean? I’ve worked my whole life to get to where I’m at in my division. So that was another disrespect, slap in the face.”

Lopez decided to move up to the 140-pound ranks after his disastrous fight with Kambosos. It was revealed afterward that Lopez was diagnosed with a life-threatening lung condition that was apparently exacerbated by trying to cut weight.

Since then, Lopez has set his sights on conquering the junior welterweight division.

Barboza pointed out that Lopez will not be challenging for a title in his next fight, anyway, since all the belts are currently tied up. The WBC belt is currently vacated but will be contested for by Jose Zepeda and Regis Prograis; the WBA was recently won by Dominican Alberto Puello; the IBF will be contested between Jeremias Ponce Subriel Matias, and the WBO is owned by Josh Taylor, who is expected to take on Jack Catterall in a rematch.

Barboza feels it is only right for Lopez to fight a contender like himself before getting a title shot. Even Top Rank, Barboza said, wants to make a fight between them.

He probably sees me as too much of a big risk and not reward,” Barboza said of Lopez. “I mean everyone that he wants to fight is not available. He’s talking about big fish, I mean I’m on top of the division too if you look at all the rankings I’m on the top. All the guys ahead of me aren’t available (now) so I don’t see any other fight that makes sense for him.

“He just came off of a loss with Kambosos. To me if you come off a loss you gotta work your way back up. I think he needs to fight a legit ranked contender in the 140-pound division before he can talk about getting all four belts. Like I said, he’s a little spoiled right? He feels a little entitled, but I know Top Rank wants to make the fight happen, so I think it’s just a matter of him accepting or he doesn’t.”