Breaking News: Sergey Lipinets injured, Mikey Garcia fight postponed
By Dan Ambrose: IBF light welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) has suffered a hand injury during training, and he won’t be able to defend his IBF title against challenger Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) on February 10 at the Alamodome, in San Antonio, Texas.
Lipinets’ hand injury is expected to push the Mikey fight back 2-3 weeks, according to RingStar promoter Richard Schaefer. He’ll know more after speaking with Lipinets’ physician. Schaefer is saying that Lipinets’ hand injury is a sprain, and nothing serious like a broken bone. An injury like that would cause the Lipinets-Garcia fight to be postponed for months instead of weeks.
The February 10th Garcia-Lipinets fight was previously scheduled to be televised by Showtime Boxing.
The Lipinets vs. Garcia fight will still take place. It’s going to be postponed temporarily until the 28-year-old Lipinets’ hand injury heals.
Lipinets recently won the vacant IBF 140 lb. title last November in defeating Akihiro Kondo by a 12 round unanimous decision. Lipinets didn’t look altogether impressive at all in that fight, which makes you wonder why Mikey even wanted to fight him. I think the answer to that question is because just how bad Lipinets looked. He’s an easy mark for Mikey to beat in order to add another division title to his resume. Mikey has previously captured world titles at 126, 130 and 135. Adding a 140 lb. title would make Mikey a 4- division world champion. The casual boxing fans wouldn’t likely to bother to look to see who Mikey beat to win the titles in those 4 divisions unfortunately.
“We need to find out the extent of the injury, but it seems like it’s nothing too serious so I think the fight will probably just be pushed back a few weeks,” RingStar promoter Richard Schaefer said to ESPN.com. “We have to coordinate with the Alamodome and see what dates are available and I need to talk to Showtime. So that’s what we are working on today.”
Mikey Garcia had the option of fighting WBA World lightweight champion Jorge Linares in a unification fight at 135, but he chose to move up in weight for a payday to fight Lipinets for his IBF light welterweight title. Garcia has been criticized by boxing fans for this move, as they wanted to see him fight Linares, not the little known Lipinets. What makes Mikey look bad in the eyes of fans is he wasn’t motivated to fight former IBF 140 lb. champion Terence Crawford when he was recently the IBF champion. But now that Crawford has vacated his IBF title and Lipinets is the new champion, Mikey is suddenly interested in fighting for the IBF 140 lb. belt. That move by Mikey makes him look weak in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans, as he’s going after the softer target in Lipinets rather than having taken on the well-respected Crawford when he held the IBF strap. Few boxing fans think Mikey would have had any chance of beating Crawford. That might explain why he didn’t fight him.
There’s a right way and a wrong way for a fighter to win world titles. The way that Mikey is looking to do it looks weak by him waiting for Crawford to vacate the IBF title before going after it. By the same token, Mikey says he wants to fight Jorge Linares for his WBA 135 lb. title after the Lipinets fight. Mikey says that after he beats Linares, he’ll move out of the lightweight division due to him having cleaned it out. The reality is that Mikey won’t have cleaned out the lightweight division, because he still won’t have fought IBF 135 lb. champion Robert Easter Jr., who might be the best fighter in the division today. Mikey not showing any interest in fighting Easter Jr. looks like a ducking move.
Some boxing fans might see the Lipinets injury as a way of delaying the fight to sell more tickets, as the fan interest in the fight has been lukewarm to say the least. Mikey probably didn’t realize when he signed for the Lipinets fight that the boxing public would have very little interest in seeing this match-up. The fans loved Mikey’s previous contest against former 4-division world champion Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner last July, but that was because it was a well-known fighter that Garcia was facing. Lipinets isn’t known by the casual boxing fans of the sport. Even the hardcore fans don’t talk about Lipinets much, which suggests that they haven’t seen many of his fights as well.
It’s not known right now what will happen with the undercard fights for the February 10th card at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. With the Garcia vs. Lipinets fight now off, the co-feature bout between light welterweights Rances Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOs) and Kiryl Relikh (21-2, 19 KOs) could be pushed to the main event on the Showtime Boxing televised card. #1 WBA Barthelemy and #2 WBA Relikh will be facing each other in a rematch for the vacant WBA light welterweight title. Last year, Barthelemey defeated Relikh by a very questionable 12 round decision in a WBA 140 lb. title eliminator match. Relikh dominated the early rounds, but he then gassed out in the 2nd half of the bout and had problems with the pressure from the Cuban. Relikh still appeared to have done enough to deserve the win, but the judges working the fight disagreed. They saw Barthelemy as the better fighter.
Other fights on the February 10th card are as follows:
• Ray Robinson vs. Yordenis Ugas
• Richard Commey vs. Alejandro Luna