By Jake Donovan
On the heels of his biggest win to date, Sergey Lipinets will next fight on the biggest stage of his career.
The former 140-pound titlist—who prevailed in a thrilling 10th round knockout of former two-division title claimant Lamont Peterson this past March—has been tabbed to return to the ring on July 20 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lipinets will next face John Molina Jr. on the undercard of Pay-Per-View headliner between unbeaten welterweight titlist Keith Thurman and former eight-division champ Manny Pacquiao.
“It’s a great fight on a great card,” Alex Vaysfeld, Lipinets’ career-long manager said to BoxingScene.com, declining further comment other than confirming leaked news of the rumored bout.
Lipinets (15-1, 11KOs) came up big in his best career win to this point, rallying to drop and stop Peterson towards the end of the 10th round in a leading Fight of the Year candidate. The former super lightweight titlist was riding high after the win, already planning his next fight which at the time was believed to be a September return.
Interestingly, the bump up in the schedule lands him on the same card as his previously rumored opponent. There were early whispers of his possibly facing unbeaten former lightweight titlist Omar Figueroa, whom BoxingScene.com’s Ryan Burton has recently reported will instead face welterweight contender Yordenis Ugas on the same July 20 show.
Rather than a showdown with Figueroa in a pairing of former titlists, Lipinets will now get to face the man whom arguably defeated his desired target. At the very least, Molina Jr. (30-8, 24KOs) deserved a far better fate than the lopsided scorecards from their crossroads clash, dropping a 10-round decision to an overweight Figueroa in their Fox-televised encounter this past February in Los Angeles, Calif.
Lipinets won his first—and to date, only—major title in a 12-round nod over Akihiro Kondo in Nov. 2017. The title reign was short-lived, conceding the crown to then-unbeaten Mikey Garcia in a March 2018 pairing for the vacant World 140-pound championship.
Two wins have followed for the 30-year Kazakhstani, who is based in California and will enter his second fight with noted cornerman Joe Goossen. Their first fight together provided his most satisfying victory thus far, coming after having previously trained under the watchful eye of recent Hall-of-Fame elected boxer-turned-trainer Buddy McGirt.
“Sergey’s win over Lamont Peterson was his first fight working with Joe Goossen, the excellent trainer,” Vaysfeld noted to BoxingScene.com after the March win. “He’s anxious to continue working with Joe. As they become more familiar with each other, it will only make Sergey even better in the ring.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox