ESPN commentator Andre Ward didn’t like what he saw from Teofimo Lopez last Saturday night with his performance against Sandor Martin.
Ward felt that the former unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez (18-1, 13 KOs) showed a lot of flaws in winning a 10 round split decision over Martin (40-3, 13 KOs) in a Top Rank Boxing -promoted event at Madison Square Garden by the scores 96-93, 97-92 for Teo and 95-94 for Sandor.
Ward noticed that Teofimo wasn’t throwing jabs. He was pawing, trying to knock down the lead arm of Sandor so that he could nail him with a right hand, and it never worked.
“He was just waiting around looking for one big shot,” said Andre Ward to Fight Hub TV when told that it looked like Teofimo Lopez failed to throw combinations against Sandor Martin.
“He’s gifted with natural explosiveness and quickness, but he’s relying on that too much. He didn’t use his jab tonight. He just pawed with it, posed, and stand in front and try and land big shots.
“You’ve got a guy like Martin with experience, and he’ll start to pick up that rhythm and start to counter like he did. He didn’t show creativeness with his offense and his feints and footwork. He just didn’t show.
“Some of that was Teo’s fault, and some of that was what Martin did. It’s part the weight and part of him not doing what he was supposed to be doing. It’s a combination of things.
“The Kambosos loss is still weighing on him, even though it’s a documented physical issue that he had. He still took a loss and the fallout from the media and the fans. All that stuff is weighing on him.
“People don’t understand what fighters and athletes have to go through just to stay focused and stay on point and not forget who they are. Teo is in the ring after the fight, questioning, ‘Do I still have it?’ That same stuff is still on his mind coming into this fight.
“He didn’t look great. He had some good moments, but Martin, he showed up,” said Ward about Teofimo not looking good. “He [Sandor] performed in such a way that people didn’t expect him to in a close fight.
“Teo didn’t look great. It’s going to be hard at 140, no matter who he fights. [Regis] Prograis is different. There’s a reason a lot of people don’t say his name. There’s a reason why he’s overlooked. It’s not because he’s a bad fighter.
“He knows who he is; he’s a dog. You know when you sign to fight Prograis, you know what time it is. It’s going to be a long night or a short night if you’re not careful,” said Ward.