Sergey Lipinets vs Mikey Garcia
Former 3 division world champion, current WBC lightweight world champion, California based Mexican/American, Mikey Garcia, puts lightweight defences on hold to compete at light welterweight, and on this occasion, he takes on undefeated IBF world champion, Russia's Sergey Lipinets. The fight takes place at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, the venue, containing a supportive, mostly pro Garcia crowd of fans.
The champion is the one on the front foot, controlled, focused, but the challenger, also focused, and very mobile. Garcia scores clean with a few quality straight shots. Garcia remains controlled in the second round, but is able to create more openings, land with all the punches in the fight, and raise the quantity. Garcia takes a clear lead after 2 rounds.
Lipinets is not deterred, as he lands his first decent punches in round 3, and sees a sign of his success, as blood exits the challenger's nose. Garcia bleeds, but as his opponent takes more chances, Garcia only hits him with good, clean punches more often. Lipinets raises his work rate in round 4, looking physically stronger than the challenger, but Garcia, using his boxing brain, and finishing the round well, putting a couple of good combinations together.
Lipinets looks able to make Garcia uncomfortable, but doesn't dent Garcia's composure, and as the champion takes more chances in round 5, he is countered, often, as a mobile Garcia taggs him on the way in consistently. Lipinets is able to find more ground in the sixth, he struggles for accuracy, but does land with a couple of good, hard shots, as a less active Garcia struggles to negate Lipinets's attributes as he has in previous rounds.
For most of round 7, Lipinets is active, continues his aggression, but Garcia, able to land good counter punches. Garcia lands a couple of big punches which Lipinets takes well, but Garcia sets a trap, and as the champion moves forward, the challenger lands a counter left hook, putting Lipinets down heavily. The champion shows great recuperation, mental strength, as he applies pressure on his opponent in the next round. Throughout round 8, Lipinets is able to land some good shots, and he overpowers Garcia, Garcia takes the punches, and responds with his own, he lands a significant amount of quality punches, but doesn't hurt Lipinets again.
Lipinets sustains his aggression in round 9, clearly behind, and he seems to outwork Garcia for much of the round, finding little accuracy, but landing the occasional thudding shot. Garcia lands hard, clean counter punches, as Lipinets increases his aggression, to finish another close round in a competitive fight. Lipinets continues to plough forward in round 10, but his aggression looks desperate, as a calm Garcia settles down, and his skills start to allow him some control back, he looks to be out boxing the champion.
Lipinets takes chance after chance, but he is rarely able to find the target, and is out timed, by the more controlled boxer. Lipinets becomes more aggressive if anything in the last two rounds, but he becomes more of a target, and rather than coasting in the last 90 seconds, Garcia raises his output, lands some great, clean scoring punches, not hurting the champion, but getting the better of the action in the closing stages of the fight.
Mikey Garcia raises his hand, whilst Sergey Lipinets looks dejected.
Mikey Garcia is declared a wide winner by all three judges, and therefore, is awarded a unanimous decision victory, as he wins the IBF belt, leaving Lipinets, disappointed, but with nothing to be ashamed of, having tried his best, put up a great effort.