This Saturday at Freeman’s Coliseum, San Antonio. Pound for Pound elite Mikey Garcia will bid to win a world title at a fourth weight, as he takes on hard-hitting Sergey Lipinets for the Kazakhstani’ man’s IBF World Junior Welterweight title. Since returning from two and a half year hiatus following a contract dispute. Garcia has wasted little time showing us the boxing fans of the world just why he is one of the best boxer-punchers around. We only saw Garcia fight once last year, widely outpointing Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner. He’s also wasted little time in calling out the biggest names from 135 all the way up to 154 as he spoke heavily about wanting to be the man in the opposite corner for Miguel Cotto’s final bout before retirement.
The champion, a former kickboxer turned boxer. Will be making the first defense of the title he won against Akihiro Kondo in November last year at the Barclays Center, New York. The title of course was left vacant after Terence Crawford announced that he would be stepping up to the 147-pound limit. While the caliber of opposition may not be the same it told me one thing, Sergey Lipinets can fight. Akihiro Kondo made sure that he had to work for twelve hard rounds. Sure, Lipinets provided the flashier work, but don’t let the scorecards deceive you fight fans, that fight was a lot closer than the judges would allow you believe.
On paper, you might actually give the physical advantages to the champion. Both men stand at five feet seven, but Garcia began his boxing career in the 126-pound division and thus Lipinets is the bigger dog in the fight. But that is where his advantages end. Both men are known for their punching power with the challengers knock out ratio of 81% being slightly higher than that of the 77% of the champion.
You certainly shouldn’t take an undefeated champion lightly. But I feel that Garcia will win this fight by another wide decision. Not to take anything away from the champion who has ascended the boxing ranks in such a short space of time. But I feel that he is not ready for a fighter of Garcia’s caliber, and on only three months rest. Garcia has the edge in boxing skill and the ring IQ to force the pace, as well as having faster hands. A lot is being made of Garcia’s power and rightly so, but he wasn’t able to stop Broner, and Lipinets has shown a chin. So this could go all twelve.
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