It was a good night for Russian super lightweight Sergey Lipinets (10-0, 7 KOs) who fought through a deep cut over his eye to score a rousing TKO over Nicaraguan brawler Walter Castillo (26-4-1, 19 KOs) in a Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on ESPN & ESPN Deportes main event that further solidified Lipinets as a force to be reckoned with in the 140-pound weight class. The night of fights, which emanated from Horseshoe Tunica Hotel & Casino in Tunica, Miss., marked the third PBC on ESPN & ESPN Deportes telecast in the month of July.
Lipinets made his power known early in the fight, but that did not deter Castillo from doing his best to feel out the Kazakhstan-born slugger. The action picked up in the third round as a swinging left thrown by Lipinets caused blood to pour from Castillo’s mouth. Castillo began the fourth round with an offensive attack, forcing Lipinets to back up toward the ropes. Castillo continued to throw several punches, including one that caused a deep gash above Lipinets’ left eye. Castillo did not relent as he aimed for the cut, the first of Lipinets’ career. Despite the steady flow of blood dripping down Lipinets’ face, it did not seem to bother him.
Castillo’s punch output slowed down considerably as the fight wore on and Lipinets became more and more comfortable, despite the large cut above his eye. PBC on ESPN announcers Teddy Atlas and Joe Tessitore credited Lipinets’ corner, led by renowned trainer Buddy McGirt, for keeping the deep cut under control. Less than one minute into the seventh round, Lipinets showed a burst of power, attacking Castillo, pressing him against the ropes, forcing Bill Clancy to wave off the fight at 2:45. At the time of the stoppage two of the judges had scored the fight even, with the third favoring Lipinets by one point.
“We knew Walter Castillo was very tough guy coming in,” said Lipinets. “No one ever stopped him. No one ever even hurt him in the ring before and he was in with some solid guys. I knew he could take a punch and punch back. To be honest though, I was surprised by how good of a fighter he was.
Of his first cut as a professional, Lipinets said, “The cut bugged me for a while and I was closing my eye a bit, but I’m a warrior and I know how to take care of myself when I’m trouble.
“I have only ten fights and I just beat a guy that good. I think I did ok. This fight just took me to a completely different level in boxing. I guarantee that other guys with 20/25 fights won’t be able to stay in the ring with me.
“You can say I’m a slow starter,” continued Lipinets. “But if I see an opening I will take it early. I pace myself and study my opponent and then if the guy is still standing in the last half of the fight, he better run.”
Castillo was unhappy with the stoppage saying, “They stopped it too early. I was still fighting. I was fine. I was not hurt. I don’t know why they stopped it. I was waiting him out and about to open up. I am a veteran. If I was hurt, I would have taken a knee. How do you stop a fight without a knockdown?
“I had him fighting scared with the cut,” said Castillo. “He was fighting desperate and that was his last try.
“I’m very upset. I was able to fight. It was a good fight and that ruined it. I don’t mind losing but not like that. Let me go down swinging.”
The telecast started out with a bang as 2012 Olympic silver medalist Tugstsogt Nyambayar (9-2, 6 KOs) of Waambartar, Mongolia sent Brooklyn’s Rafael Vazquez (16-3,13 KOs) to the canvas 30 seconds into the scheduled 10-round featherweight bout with a straight right hand. Vazquez rose to his feet with ease and threw some forceful shots of his own, but went down again 30 seconds later as Nyambayar threw another powerful right.
The Mongolian warrior, who fights out of Carson, Calif., was able to finish the fight at 1:24 of the first round as he threw a left to the body followed by a right hand that saw Vazquez hitting the canvas for a third and final time.
“I didn’t know I was going to be able to put that kind of a performance on [against Rafael],” said Nyambayar. “I have 100 percent of my energy left. I don’t know exactly how much power I actually have.
“I had a great camp and I was ready for whatever came my way,” continued Nyambayar. “I’m very happy with the result, but I expected to win. I came in very confident. I thought it would go three or four rounds, but the opportunity to end it earlier appeared and I took it. Whoever comes my way, I’m ready. I’m on the road to be world champion and no one can stop me.”
“I just got caught and I couldn’t recover,” said Vazquez. “He’s a very strong puncher and he caught me still warming up. It happens in boxing. One of those things.”
“Vazquez said to me, you’ve got a future world champion on your hands,” said Nyambayar’s renowned trainer Joe Goossen. “A guy that is going to know that best is the guy getting hit. With [Nyambayar’s] reaction time and his speed, Vazquez saw and felt all of that and he came to the conclusion that Tug is going to be a world champion.”
The televised bantamweight swing bout went the full six rounds as Houston-based David Perez (7-0, 3 KOs) outpointed Adan Ortiz (9-2, 8 KOs) of Guerrero, Mexico, who took the fight on five day’s notice. Perez started the fight strong, knocking down Ortiz toward the end of the first round, but the Mexican native rose from the canvas and was saved by the bell as Perez threw a barrage of punches to Ortiz’s head and body. Ortiz started the second round strong and maintained a tremendous amount of heart for the remainder of the bout. Both continuously threw flurries of punches, exchanging left hooks throughout. The judges saw it in favor of Perez with scorecards reading 60-53, 59-54 and 58-55.