By Keith Idec
Sergey Lipinets was surprised Mikey Garcia beat Adrien Broner, especially so easily.
Garcia was a sizeable favorite over Broner, even though Garcia moved up from the lightweight limit of 135 pounds to box Broner in a 12-round, 140-pound fight. Lipinets still expected Broner to win their non-title fight July 29 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The smart, strong Garcia got off to a fast start and beat Broner comfortably on all three scorecards (117-111, 116-112, 116-112). That superb performance convinced Garcia to remain at 140 pounds for a shot at Lipinets’ IBF junior welterweight title Saturday night at Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio (Showtime; 10:15 p.m. ET).
“I think Adrien should’ve won that fight,” Lipinets told BoxingScene.com through a translator. “He would’ve won if he just developed a plan to walk Mikey down, throw more punches and, as a naturally bigger guy, show his resolve in the ring. But Adrien, for some reason, just didn’t do anything.”
Broner’s biggest problem that night – and in other fights – was that the four-division champion from Cincinnati didn’t throw enough punches, particularly early in that 12-rounder.
“That was a very inactive Adrien Broner who wouldn’t get off,” Lipinets said. “And when he did get off, it showed. I’m a different animal he’s getting in the ring with. The speed will show that I’m a natural 140-pounder who has the speed of a lightweight. Mikey, we’ll see how his speed matches up to me. Whoever’s got more will, whoever’s got a better chin, whoever’s faster, will win.”
Kazakhstan’s Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs), though inexperienced compared to Garcia, has fought no lower than the super lightweight/junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds since the 28-year-old champion made his pro debut in April 2014. The 30-year-old Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), of Oxnard, California, has won world titles at featherweight (126 pounds), super featherweight (130) and lightweight (135) during his 11-year pro career.
“Broner used to be a top guy at 140 and [Garcia] took care of business against him relatively easily,” Lipinets said. “I guess he thinks that will be the case with me.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.