By Steve Kim
IBF junior welterweight champion, Sergey Lipinets, will be taking a big step as it has been announced that he will be facing three-time divisional champion, Mikey Garcia on February 10th at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The fight will be televised by Showtime.
Through his manager, Alex Vaysfeld, he told BoxingScene.com - "When I won my title it was a great fight with the Japanese fighter, (Akihiro) Kondo but it didn't feel right to me at that time or even after that like I'm a champion and that I'm respected by the boxing community by beating him."
On November 4th at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, Lipinets (13-0, 10 KO's) had a tougher-than-expected time in out-pointing Kondo over twelve rounds, in a fight that was closer to many observers than the scores indicated.
"I'm not going to get that recognition unless I fight somebody like Mikey Garcia, some of the big names,'' he continued. "That was the first request I put to my team, my managers, Alex Vaysfeld, Andy Zak, and we sat down and I said that I wanted to fight somebody from the top of the food chain."
In Garcia (37-0, 30 KO's) he is facing one of the most respected boxers in the sport.
"I could've kept fighting guys that didn't matter that much - no disrespect to anybody behind me - but my whole thing was to get to stardom from the very beginning of my career."
As for how he'll deal with the master counter-puncher, Lipinets says - "Mikey Garcia is a great fighter, he's got a great pedigree coming out from a great boxing family. I respect everybody who steps in the ring with me. But everybody has a plan till they get it, they say, and I expect Mikey to get hit and we'll see how he handles it."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.