Fan favorite and pound for pound, Mikey Garcia (38-0, 30 K) took on IBF champion Sergey Lipinets for his 140-pound title at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas. Garcia, a three-division champ is coming off a strong win over former champion Adrien Broner and was the heavy betting odds favorite to earn the fourth belt.
As expected, Garcia came out guns blazing and controlled the action early on. Garcia measured Lipinets with a stiff jab followed by strong power punches.
The crowd of almost eight thousand fans roared with ever Garcia punch landed. Lipinets would not go down without a fight. The defending champion landed a few shots of his own but not quite as clean and thudding at the challenger.
At times when Lipinets connected with some leather, Garcia retaliated with sharp combinations of his own and pocketed more rounds. Mikey found the money shot in the seventh when a perfectly placed left hook floored Lipinents for the first time in his pro career. Lipinets recovered from the knockdown but continued to be on the receiving end of tough blows.
In the following rounds, Garcia continued his dominating performance and beat a now tired and fading Lipinets. With everything he had left in the tank, Lipinents let his hands go in the championship rounds but the result all but certain.
Garcia placed his name amongst a small group of fighters by winning his fourth title in four different divisions. Final scorecards read 116-111, 117-110, and 117-110 respectively.
“This is a great feeling,” said Garcia. “Winning this title is a huge honor. Now my name will go down in history with a some of the best.” Lipinets certainly has no reason to hold his head low. One could argue against any other fighter in the division, his performance could have produced a win.
“[Lipinets] came as expected. He is a very tough, determined, hungry, strong fighter,” said Garcia. “We worked with angles, footwork and worked on the jab. He’s very dangerous with that overhand right and those left hooks but we were able to prevail.”
“It was experience that took over at some point. Mikey is a great fighter and can crack. It was just experience that I was lacking tonight,” said Lipinents after the fight. Both men rose their stock no matter the outcome. The question now remains what Garcia will do next.
All photos by Amanda Westcott/Showtime
Peter Nieves is a sports journalist who's been writing for Round By Round Boxing since 2012. When he's not covering the sweet science, he's busy twirling his mustache and writing a screenplays. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @pnieves90