Lipinets, Nyambayar Thunder To Victory
By: Sean Crose
There were complaints that Friday’s PBC card on ESPN appeared to be pretty much the same as an old Friday Night Fights broadcast. For those who don’t know, Friday Night Fights, ESPNs boxing program of old, featured up and coming boxers and gave them international exposure. The PBC, on the other hand, was supposed to bring major bouts to “free” television. Needless to say, ESPNs PBC card on Friday featured up and comers rather than huge stars. So yes, the broadcast did look like an old FNF show. Truth be told, however, I always loved FNF, so I settled in for a fun night of boxing.
The evening showcased a Mongolian fighter who boasted a 5-0 record, all by knockout. Sure enough, Tugstogt Nyambayar stepped into the ring at the Horseshoe Casino in Tunica, Mississippi as a featherweight who was off to a thunderous, if not high profile, start. His opponent, Rafael Vazquez, hadn’t fought since dropping a unanimous decision to Ryan Kielczewski the previous October. Still, with 13 knockouts out of 16 victories in a record consisting of 19 fights, it was clear Vazquez was more than just cannon fighter. Unfortunately for Brooklyn’s Vazquez, Nyambayar kept up his knockout streak by crushing his man in round one.
The main event, which featured 9-0 junior welterweight Sergey Lipinets facing off against Nicaragua’s 26-3-1 Walter Castillo. With a rich background in MMA and amateur boxing, Lipinets was clearly looking to improve his resume -which featured seven knockouts – with a sharp performance. Castillo, however, was known to be a high energy foe. After having one win, one loss and one draw in his last previous fights, Castillo would earn the career boost he needed with a win over the rising Kazakh.
Lipinets took to Castillo with his heavy fists early on, but Castillo remained game. Lipinets split his man’s lip in the third as his hard shots gave him an edge. Castillo, however, was not to be denied so quickly, for he started the fourth with a harsh assault on his foe. Sure enough, the fight started to even out. What’s more, Lipinets suffered a cut due to a clash of heads.
Lipinets nailed his man in the 6th so effectively that it looked like the proceedings might be coming to a close. Castillo survived, though, and remained competitive. Still, Lipinets connected with thunderous precision again in the seventh before banging Castillo against the ropes. Not one to relent, Lipinets swung away until Castillo began to look helpless, leaving the referee no choice, but to stop the fight.