On Saturday, March 10, 2018, in front of a raucous crowd, Mikey Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs) defeated Sergey Lipinets (13-1, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision- at the Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio Texas. In round 1, Lipinets landed solid shots which bloodied Garcia. Lipinets had one philosophy throughout the fight- throw punches and charge forward. Garcia would rely on his technical skills and experience to hold off the Russian champion. The usually effective Garcia, landed 169 of 679 total punches thrown; which totaled 25%. In round 7, Garcia sent Lipinets to the canvas with a left hook. This would be the first time Lipinets tasted the canvas in his professional career. Lipinets would answer the referee’s count and continue to advance a choking and exhausted Garcia. Lipinets landed 144 of 509 punches, 28%. Garcia and Lipinets would continue to exchange shots in the later rounds, each refusing to give an inch.
In round 12, Lipinets continued a steady pace- throwing bombs until the final bell. The judges would award Garcia the victory, by unanimous decision: 116-111, and 117-110 2x. Garcia joins Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez who also won titles at 126, 130, 135 and 140 pounds. Garcia praised Lipinets after the fight, “He came in exactly as I expected –very tough, very determined and very hungry.” The new IBF Junior Welterweight titlist goes on to say, “He’s a strong fighter and we had to work with angles, footwork and behind the jab because he knew he was going to be there for a long night. He was very determined and dangerous with those overhand rights and left hooks. We had to be very careful but we had a great game plan and were very prepared.”
Kiryl Relikh (22-2, 19 KOs) defeated Rances Barthelemy (26-1, 13 KOs) by unanimous decision. Avenging a controversial fight, he lost to Barthelemy last year Scores were 117-110, 118-109, 118-109