IBF World light welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) is counting on former 3 division world champion Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) losing power on his punches when he moves up to 140 to challenge him for his IBF title on February 10 on Showtime Boxing at the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas.
Unfortunately for Lipinets, this won’t be the first time the 30-year-old Mikey has fought at 140. He moved up to light welterweight for his last fight against Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner on July 29 and beat him by an impressive 12 round unanimous decision in New York in a fight televised by Showtime.
If not for Broner’s good chin and his cautious style of fighting, Mikey would have knocked him out. After taking some big shots from Mikey in round 1 and 2, Broner played it safe for the remainder of the fight by not mixing it up with Mikey until late.
“I’m taking on a great challenge against Mikey Garcia, and many people think I’m not ready,” said Lipinets at the kick off press conference on Monday. “This is the fight that I wanted. I’ve had many obstacles in my way throughout my career and I’ve overcome them all. I’m going to overcome Mikey Garcia just like that…A lot of things can happen when you move up in weight. Usually people lose some pop. Whatever version of Mikey Garcia shows up; I’ll be ready for him,” said Lipinets.
Garcia looked powerful against Broner. Lipinets would be wise to assume that Garcia will be just as dangerous at 140 as he’s been in the past at 126, 130 and 135. Garcia’s punching power has traveled up with him each time he’s moved up in weight. Garcia couldn’t knock out Broner because the former 4-division world champion wasn’t putting it on the line. Broner just wanted to survive the full 12 rounds rather than looking to win the contest.
Lipinets looked good in winning his last bout against Akihiro Kondo (29-7-1, 16 KOs) on November 4 to win the vacant IBF light welterweight title. Lipinets did an excellent job in beating a limited fighter, but it wasn’t a good enough performance to suggest that he’s going to be able to beat a quality operator like Mikey Garcia. Lipinets didn’t show that kind of talent in the fight.
Lipinets’ best wins of his career have come against these fighters:
• Akhiro Kondo
• Leonardo Zappavigna
• Walter Castillo
• Levan Ghvamichava
• Haskell Rhodes
If Mikey has problems against Lipinets for any reason, he’s going to need to re-think the idea of him emerging as the next big PPV star in boxing. Mikey thinks he can take Floyd Mayweather’s place as the top star in the sport. If Mikey has that kind of talent, he’ll need to make easy work of Lipinets.