Undefeated IBF junior welterweight world champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) believes he's got enough skill and the right game plan to beat his upcoming opponent, heavy favorite Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), who captured world titles in three weight divisions and currently holds the WBC lightweight crown.
The contest takes place on Saturday, February 10, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and the bout will headline a Showtime televised card.
Garcia has received permission from the WBC to retain his belt while he continues to pursue gold at the junior welterweight limit.
There is a realm of thought, that Lipinets is too inexperienced at the moment to face an opponent on Garcia's level.
Lipinets disagrees, based on sparring with top level fighters like former unified junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford, who some view as the top pound-for-pound boxer in the sport.
"Every time I have sparred with top fighters, like Terrence Crawford, I have learned more about what I need to improve to get to the next level in this sport. That kind of experience has helped my confidence increase and will help me when I face Mikey Garcia," Lipinets said.
This will be Garcia's second fight at the weight class, after dominating four division world champion Adrien Broner in July at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Garcia likes to bang, but Lipinets is not overly convinced that the Mexican-American boxer can hang with the biggest hitters in the weight class.
Lipinets had a lot of success as a kickboxer and has now transitioned that success over to boxing.
"A lot of things can happen when you move up in weight. Usually people lose some pop. Whatever version of Mikey Garcia shows up; I'll be ready for him," Lipinets said.
"I believe I'm going to win, Mikey believes he's going to win, and it will all unveil in the ring. One thing I can guarantee; it's going to be a great fight. Every fight I've had has been against a tough opponent who has helped get me to this point. Now, I'm ready to fight the best, and Mikey Garcia is truly that.
"I had to work very hard to make the transition from champion kickboxer to a champion boxer. I did everything I had to do, moving from gym to gym and sparring everyone. I always aimed for the best and wanted to be the best at what I do."