Andre Berto is adamant he did NOT call Victor Ortiz a "f*g" during a fight at their press conference this week -- telling TMZ Sports, "I respect gay people."
Berto and Ortiz got into a shoving match Wednesday -- when Berto felt Ortiz was getting too close during their face-to-face staredown. During the scuffle you can hear Berto say, "I ain't with that gay sh*t."
Ortiz told "Fight Hub TV" Berto also called him the f-word -- something Berto adamantly denies.
"Not true at all," Berto tells TMZ Sports ... "I respect the gay community to the fullest."
"Listen, I respect gay people but I love women. So if another man comes and puts his lips near mine, it would make you uncomfortable."