On February 10 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, IBF junior welterweight world champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) will get the biggest test of his career when he makes his first title defense against three division champion Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), who is widely regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in boxing.
Garcia enters in for his second consecutive opponent at 140-pounds.
He dominated four division champion Adrien Broner over twelve rounds in July at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Lipinets was the longtime mandatory challenger to the IBF title. After Terence Crawford vacated his world title, Lipinets got his chance when he defeated Akihiro Kondo for the vacant belt.
The fight is a big ask at this point in Lipinets' career, but he feels ready for the task at hand.
"This is the biggest challenge that I've had in my career. Mikey is a big star, but I'm very competitive and I want to show the world what I can do. My spirit cannot be matched by any fighter, but I also have the speed and strength to win. I will show my devastating power on February 10," Lipinets said.
"This is going to be a difficult fight. I'm aiming to get a win any way that I can. I can't say what it is going to look like, but I will be ready for anything in the ring. If I didn't think I was ready for this fight then I wouldn't have taken it. We have a plan and we'll use all the experience I've gained from my career to execute it."
Lipinets is not going to enter the fight as a wild brawlers. He intends to use a very calculated plan of attack to beat Garcia.
He is motivated to reach the heights that Garcia has already reached in his career.
"Mikey is a very good chess player. People underestimate his ability to think in the ring. So I can't just go in there with a style that someone else has used against him. We're going to work hard on the best game plan for what I can do," Lipinets said.
"I'm coming to win. I want to be in the position that Mikey has reached in this sport. I've worked hard to get to this moment and I'm going to give it my all to take advantage."