Mikey Garcia vs. Sergey Lipinets on Feb.10
By Tim Royner: Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) will be moving up a weight class to challenge IBF light welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) in 2 months from now on February 10 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
The Lipinets vs. Garcia fight will be televised on Showtime Championship Boxing on Feb.10. For Garcia, 29, it’ll be his 4th title that he’ll be looking to capture. Garcia previously won division world titles at 126, 130 and 130. Garcia recently moved up to 140 last summer and defeated former 4 division world champion Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision on July 29. That fight was televised by Showtime.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum spoke last Saturday night about Vasyl Lomachenko moving up to lightweight to make easy work of Mikey Garcia in 2018. That fight no longer looks possible unless Lomachenko moves up 2 weight divisions to fight Garcia at 140.
Lipinets, 28, is from Kazakhstan, and is now living in Beverly Hills, California. He recently won the vacant International Boxing Federation 140-lb. title in defeating Akihiro Kondo (29-7-1, 16 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision on November 4 on the undercard of the Deontay Wilder vs. Bermane Stiverne rematch at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Lipinets didn’t look great, but he did enough to beat Kondo and win the vacant IBF 140-lb. title.
For Garcia, this will be his second consecutive fight in the light welterweight division, and a clear sign that he probably won’t be moving back down to the lightweight division to defend his WBC 135 lb. division.
“It is a dream to have the opportunity to become a four-division world champion,” Garcia said.
After being out of the ring for 2 ½ years due to promotional problems with his previous promoters at Top Rank, Mikey can last year to defeat Elio Rojas by a 5th round knockout on July 30, 2016. Garcia followed that victory up with an impressive 3rd round KO of Dejan Zlaticanin to capture the WBC 140-lb. title earlier this year in January. In Mikey’s last fight, he beat the brakes off of Adrien Broner last July.
During his 11-year pro career, Mikey has wins over these quality fighters:
• Cornelius Lock
• Oliver Lontchi
• Matt Remillard
• Rafael Guzman
• Jonathon Barros
• Juan Carlos Burgos
• Roman ‘Rocky’ Martinez
• Orlando Salido
• Adrien Broner
• Dejan Zlaticanin
”Beating Mikey Garcia will put me in the elite of boxing where I believe I belong. I’m happy my team was able to put this great fight together,” said Lipinets.
It’s going to be difficult for Lipinets to beat Garcia because he’s not shown that type of talent. Anything is possible though.
On the undercard of the Lipinets vs. Garcia fight will be light welterweight contender Rances Barthelemy fighting Kiryl Relikh in a rematch for the vacant World Boxing Association light welterweight title. Barthelemy beat Relikh by a controversial 12 round decision earlier this year in May. The WBA chose to order the rematch due to the storm of criticism that resulted from that fight.
The Barthelemy vs. Relikh fight could turn out to be more exciting than the main event between Lipinets and Garcia. The winner of the Barthelemy-Relikh could face the Garcia-Lipinets winner in a unification fight later in 2018 on Showtime.