Showtime World Championship Boxing Preveiw: Garcia vs Lipinets, Barthelemy vs Relikh
By: Bryant Romero
This Saturday will be another stacked night of boxing with two competing cards on Showtime and ESPN. Showtime will be presenting two world title fights at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas with Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) looking to capture a fourth world title in a fourth weight class when he challenges IBF Jr. welterweight champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) in the main event. Garcia is looking to become just the third fighter in history to capture world titles from 126 pounds to 140 pounds if he is successful in defeating Lipinets this Saturday night.
Garcia is considered by many in boxing to be one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world and will be heavily favored to defeat Lipinets. While Garcia is certainly a very skillful fighter with boxing skills, punching power, and excellent technique, there is still a strong debate on whether Garcia is truly one of best in the world pound for pound. Garcia is a three-weight world champion but with Adrien Broner being his career best win to date, there is much left to be desired in the career of Mikey Garcia.
The 30-year-old Garcia losing two years of his career while he battled his former promoter Top Rank in court didn’t help matters when it came to his rise in the sport. Still, in his three fights back since his hiatus from the sport, he’s reminded the boxing world how good he is, but can he fulfill his career ambition in becoming one of the biggest names in the sport?
Reportedly turning down a Miguel Cotto and Jorge Linares fight to instead fight an unknown but dangerous champion in Sergey Lipinets may not seem like the smartest of business decisions. However, Garcia is happy with the path he’s taking, will look to make history against Sergey Lipinets, and will eventually set his sights on challenging one of the welterweight champions if he is successful this Saturday.
Lipinets will be looking to spoil all of the plans of Mikey Garcia and frankly he feels disrespected with all the talk of Garcia picking up his fourth world title. Lipinets though is very confident of victory and while he may be an unknown champion, he is a good strong fighter with a lot of experience as a kick boxer and has fought very solid opposition in just 13 pro fights as boxer. An argument can be made that Lipinets could be Garcia’s most interesting challenge to date.
On the undercard, features another world title fight in the 140 pound weight class when Rances Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOs) takes on Kiryl Relihk (21-2, 19 KOs) for the vacant WBA super lightweight title in a rematch of their wild fight last May. The winner of this fight will put themselves in a strong position for a unification bout with the winner of the Garcia vs Lipinets main event.