Mikey Garcia vs. Sergey Lipinets preview & prediction
By Dan Ambrose: Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) will be looking to snatch the IBF light welterweight title away from unbeaten champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) this Saturday night at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas.
There’s something about Lipinets that has made Mikey target him rather than the other fighters that are about to capture Terence Crawford’s vacated light welterweight titles.
Showtime Boxing will be televising the Mikey vs. Lipinets fight. The undercard has Rances Barthelmy facing Kiryl Relikh in a rematch for the vacant WBA World light welterweight title. Mario Barrios will be facing Eudy Bernardo at light welterweight.
Brandon Figueroa will be facing Giovanni Delgado will be fighting an 8 round fight at super bantamweight. Richard Commey will be battling Alejandro Luna in a 12 round fight at lightweight.
Barthelemy-Relikh is potentially a good fight if the judges get the results right. They blew it lat time by giving Barthelemy a controversial 12 round decision win over Relikh. The scoring was so incredibly bad for hat fight. Relikh appeared to do more than enough to win the fight by 2 rounds, and yet the judges gave it to Barthelemy by the scores 116-110, 117-110 and 116-111. Boxing News 24 had Relikh winning 8 rounds to 4. The WBA ordered a rematch due to the controversial scoring.
Mikey is saying he wants to move up to 147 and go after WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman and Terence Crawford, who doesn’t have a title yet. The guy that Mikey isn’t mentioning wanting to fight I IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. Mikey knows his limitations. Mikey is assuming he’s going to beat Lipinets, otherwise he wouldn’t already be looking past him towards guys in the 147 lb. division. It would be smarter for Mikey to concentrate on Lipinets first. If he beats Lipinets, Mikey should try ad prove that he can defeat the likes of Regis Prograis and the winner of the Jose Carlos Ramirez vs. Amir Imam. Prograis and Ramirez might have too much power and natural size for Mikey to deal with. It’s doubtful that Mikey will take a chance on fighting either of them.
Mikey’s goal in going after Lipinets is to win a 4th division world title. He feels that’s important to him. It’s not so much the idea of beating the little known Lipinets that is driving the 29-year-old Mikey. It’s more of a case of him feeling he needs to capture a world title at 140, so that it further validates his career. Mikey has already won world titles at featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight. Mikey won his world titles against Orlando Salido, Ramon Martinez and Dejan Zlaticanin.
The win over Salido was not a great one for Garcia, as it ended with him complaining to the referee that he had a broken nose after the 8th. Salido had a broken nose too, but he didn’t use it as an excuse to have the fight stopped. Garcia looked tired at that point in the fight and he was starting to take punishment. The way that the fight had changed hands, it looked like Garcia was being broken down by Salido. But you can’t question Mikey’s other title wins over Ramon Martinez and Zlaticanin. He clearly won those fights and he didn’t complain about injuries.
Since coming back from a 2 ½ year layoff from boxing in July 2016, Mikey has beaten Elio Rojas, Dejan Zlaticanon and Adrien Broner. The fights against Broner and Rojas both took place in the 140 lb. weight class.
In Mikey’s last fight, he beat the shell of Broner, who is so over-the-hill at this point in his career that it’s sad to see. Most fighters lose their skills late in their careers, but Broner’s case, he went downhill early. Mikey saw an opportunity to beat a shot fighter in Broner, and he took advantage of the situation. We’d already seen Adrian Granados beat Broner before Mikey got to him, but he was clearly robbed in their fight in Cincinnati in February 2017. Mikey took care of Broner in beating him by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision in July of last year in a fight televised on Showtime Boxing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The loss hurt Broner so much that he’d even added more trainers to his team to try and do the impossible in turning his sinking career around.
Just judging by how Lipinets looked in beating journeyman Akhiro Kondo last November by a 12 round unanimous decision, I’d say he’s a step down for Mikey from Broner. As shot as Broner is, I think he beats Lipinets with no problems. That’s not because Broner is great. It’s because Lipinets is flawed and in a major way in terms of speed, power and boxing skills. Lipinets is slow, very hittable and not a big puncher. The only reason Lipinets is a world champion now is because Terence Crawford vacated the IBF 140 lb. title, and the International Boxing Federation let him fight Kondo for their vacant IBF title instead of insisting that he fight someone with talent like Josh Taylor, Regis Prograis, Victor Postol, Jose Carlos Ramirez, Omar Figueroa Jr. or Terry Flanagan. I think Lipinets would have lost to all those guys. The only advantage Lipinets has over Broner is he keeps his weight within range of the 140 lb. weight class in between fights. Lipinets doesn’t live it up and get fat in between fights the way that Broner does. Mikey won’t be able to count on Lipinets being weight drained like Broner clearly was last July.
Lipinets’ slow feet will make it hard for him to get to Mikey and wear him down with his shot over the 12 rounds. Mikey doesn’t get hit very much, but when he does get hit, he looks vulnerable and nothing special. Mikey looked like he was panicking when Orlando Salido started to put hands on him in the 7th and 8th rounds of their fight in 2013. Mikey is fine when he’s the one dishing out the punishment, but when he has to take shots in return, he’s not tough at all like other fighters. In fact, he looks very fragile. That’s why we might see Mikey running from Lipinets on Saturday if he’s able to land some shots early in the fight and put the scare in him.
Mikey will win a one-sided 12 round decision over the painfully slow Lipinets. I don’t think Mikey will knockout Lipinets, because he’s not a huge puncher for the division and he hates getting hit. Mikey won’t want to stay close enough to put himself in harm’s way, and he’s not going to knockout a fighter like Lipinets unless he’s willing to get hit back.