Sergey Lipinets: Only way to reach Mikey Garcia’s level in boxing is to go through him
LOS ANGELES — Sergey Lipinets is given little chance to upset Mikey Garcia, and that’s the point.
Garcia is seeking a title in a fourth weight class, and with it, Showtime hopes he’ll receive a push as they attempt to create another pay-per-view attraction.
Lipinets (13-0, 10 knockouts) received the call for February 10 by way of his junior welterweight title victory over Akihiro Kondo in November. It wasn’t a particularly impressive performance, with the Russian forced to go the distance with a middling fighter.
But Lipinets won a title vacated by Terence Crawford in the bout, and now Garcia is there to grab it.
“Mikey Garcia is a great champion and I want to be in the position that he’s reached in this sport,” Lipinets, a former kickboxing champion, said through a translator. “The only way there is to go through him.
“I’m taking on a great challenge against Mikey Garcia, and many people think I’m not ready. This is the fight that I wanted. I’ve had many obstacles in my way throughout my career and I’ve overcome them all. I’m going to overcome Mikey Garcia just like that.”
Indeed, if anyone believes Lipinets isn’t ready, it’s with good reason. Lipinets has yet to face even a top-10 fighter in the 140-pound division, and now he’s fighting, in Garcia, a man rated No. 6 by THE RING regardless of weight.
Lipinets possesses a good punch, and an aggressive, attacking style, but it figures to play right into the dangerous hands of the fundamental, counter-punching title challenger.
“Every time I have sparred with top fighters, like Terence Crawford, I have learned more about what I need to improve to get to the next level in this sport,” said Lipinets, 28. “That kind of experience has helped my confidence increase and will help me when I face Mikey Garcia.
“A lot of things can happen when you move up in weight. Usually people lose some pop. Whatever version of Mikey Garcia shows up, I’ll be ready for him.”
If Lipinets is counting on Garcia’s power being watered down, he might be in for a long night.
Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger