Andre Ward has always been incredibly high on Teofimo Lopez.

The sublime speed, underrated defensive skills, and his ability to rattle off four to five punch combinations before turning off the lights of his opponents is something that Ward has openly acknowledged. However, following his recent showing, Ward was left wanting more.

In front of a pro-Lopez crowd in New York’s Madison Square Garden earlier this month, Lopez took center stage as he squared off against Sandor Martin. Though the Spaniard saw his stock soar following his upset victory over Mikey Garcia, according to oddsmakers, the 29-year-old essentially stood no chance against Lopez.  

But while most of the boxing world stood firmly in Lopez’s corner, Martin (40-3, 13 KOs) used the disparaging words of his naysayers to fuel him on the night. Although it wasn't the result he was hoping for, Martin is attempting to hold his head high.

In the immediate aftermath of his somewhat controversial victory, Ward revealed his critical thoughts on Lopez during a recent interview.  

“He didn't look great,” said Ward to “He had some good moments but Martin, he showed up. He performed in a way that a lot of people didn't expect him to but Teo didn't look great.”

Despite being lambasted over and over again, Lopez (18-1, 13 KOs) believes that after two successful outings at 140 pounds, he’s ready to compete against the upper echelon of his new division. Falling in line with Lopez’s wishes, the bombastic 25-year-old is positioned perfectly to face recently crowned WBC champion, Regis Prograis.

However, in spite of his ambitions, Lopez has an unfathomable long list of contenders and trinket holders that he could eventually face in the ring, including Jose Ramirez and Josh Taylor. In Ward’s view, Lopez’s road to the summit of the super lightweight division won't be a benign one.  

“Any of those fights can be made but it’s going to be hard at 140 no matter who he fights.”