By Dan Ambrose: Mikey Garcia’s title challenge against IBF World light welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) has been rescheduled for March 10 on Showtime Championship Boxing at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio Texas.
The fight is presented by Premier Boxing Champions. Lipinets, 28, recently suffered a hand injury while training, making it necessary for the fight with Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) to be rescheduled. There hasn’t been a lot of fuss from the boxing fans about the fight being rescheduled, as it’s not a match-up that people care about.
This fight is more about Mikey getting an easy payday and going after a vulnerable champion so that he can win his 4th division world title. If Garcia really wanted to accomplish something big, he’d wait for the dust to clear from the Juan Carlos Ramirez vs. Amir Imam match, to go after the winner for the WBC light welterweight title. Ramirez, 25, is a very good fighter with a lot of power.
Garcia is taking the easy option by facing the Arturo Gatti-like Lipinets, who is VERY easy to hit. Lipinets looked awful in his recent win over Akhiro Kondon (29-1, 16 KOs) last November in struggling to best him by a 12 round unanimous decision to win the vacant IBF 140 lb. title. Mikey obviously saw how bad Lipinets looked, and decided that was the guy that he should face to try and win a 4th division world title. It’s a weak move on Mikey’s part.
Mikey thinks he can become a PPV star in the near future. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen though due to him targeting the wrong fighters. Mikey’s wasting his time fighting Lipinets in an effort to impress casual boxing fans by picking up a title off of a paper champion. Mikey’s other recent wins have been just as empty in him facing the over-the-hill Adrien Broner, Dejan Zlaticanin and Elio Rosas. Mikey says he wants to fight Jorge Linares after he faces Lipinets, but even that fight is a waste.
Mikey would be moving back down to 135 to take the fight with the 32-year-old Linares. The great fighters don’t move back down once they move up in weight. It’ll be a weak move on Mikey’s part when he moves back down to fight Linares. Mikey thinks he’ll gain a lot of popularity if he beats Linares. I don’t agree.
The best fighter in the lightweight division right now is Robert Easter Jr., who Mikey has no interest in fighting. Mikey should stay a 140 or move up to 147 if he wants to become a start, because beating Linares won’t do anything for him. Mikey needs to challenge himself while he’s still in his prime by taking on Terence Crawford, Easter, Jr., Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, Jeff Horn, Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia. I don’t think Mikey will ever fight any of those guys unfortunately.
The undercard fights for the Garcia vs. Lipinets card are as follows:
• Rances Barthelemy vs. Kiryl Relikh 2 for vacant WBA light welterweight title. This is the co-feature bout on the Garcia-Lipinets card
• Richard Commey vs. Alejandro Luna in light welterweight action
• Marior Barrios vs. Eudy Bernardo
• Brandon Figueroa vs. Jonathan Aguilar
• Josesito Lopez vs. Hector Munoz – Lopez faces a journeyman in Munoz
• Alejandro Guerrero vs. TBA
Garcia, 30, hasn’t really challenged himself since his fight with Orlando Salido in 2013. That was a fight in which Garcia complained of a nose injury after the 8th, causing the fight to be halted. Garcia was exhausted and taking punishment at the time the fight was stopped. Some boxing fans think Garcia quit because he was on the verge of being knocked out. The fight went to the score cards and Garcia won an 8 round decision. That was the last time Garcia fought a tough opponent. Garcia is coming off of a 12 round unanimous decision win over a weight drained and basically shot Broner last July on Showtime.