Mikey Garcia will be looking to add a 4th world title in as many divisions, when he challenges IBF 140-pound champion, Sergey Lipinets, this Saturday on Showtime Championship Boxing. Richard Schaefer’s Ringstar Sports will present this pairing live from Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, TX.
For Garcia (37-0, 30 KO’s), this is all about resume and career enhancement. The recurring theme for him is big fights; the more, the merrier. But with former promoter, Top Rank, all but cock blocking an arousing affair with their prized protégé, Vasyl Lomachenko, Mikey’s left with Plan B, C or D. Already the reigning WBC champion at 135, Garcia could have unified with Robert Easter or bumped off a mandatory challenger, which brings us to Lipinets (13-0, 10 KO’s). The Kazakh Russian comes with a similar price tag, yet offers an opportunity at history, simultaneously. If victorious, Mikey becomes just the 3rd contemporary fighter to own world championships at 126, 130, 135 and 140, joining the ranks of legends the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.
Lipinets is poised to pull an upset, however. He’s equipped with a good left hook to the head and body, applies pressure, bobs and weaves well, possesses appreciable hand speed, has weathered cuts and head butts without blemishing his record, and goes for the kill upon sensing weakness in a foe. That being said, he’s also a bit wide in the delivery of some shots, poses a bit too long and only began boxing in 2012. Lipinets leaves openings like a fighter going from kickboxing (which he has) to actual boxing would, and Garcia should have a plethora of chances to counter his advances.
Obviously one of the best fighters on the planet, pound for pound, Pugilism Co. asked the humble, unassuming Garcia if he ranked himself higher. He replied, “There’s a couple guys you could probably put ahead of me, not in terms of skills, but because they’re at a higher weight and I haven’t proven myself there. Errol Spence and Terence Crawford, but overall skill-wise, I think I’m right there with anybody in the world.”
Hard to disagree given Mikey’s familial pedigree; brother/trainer, Robert Garcia, is a former world champion at 130 pounds and father, Eduardo Garcia, guided “Ferocious” Fernando Vargas to glory at 154. As well rounded as any current fighter, Mikey paused for a moment then elaborated on his biggest asset. “The strongest asset for me is the fact I’m not flashy in any fighting style. I’m not the fastest even, I’m not the strongest, I’m not the slowest, I’m not the quickest in footwork, crazy angles, but when anybody see’s me they just see a simple, textbook boxer straight up. You know, jab, 1-2, combination, nothing crazy (or) out of this world, but they underestimate me. And once we get in the ring, they feel the difference, they feel the timing, they feel the power, everything. It completes the package, but they don’t see that from outside the ring.”
The phrase “Anything can happen” goes without saying, but it’s next to impossible envisioning such a thing occurring in this instance. Garcia by late stoppage; may be wrong, but I doubt it.