By Keith Idec
The last thing Sergey Lipinets wanted was to postpone his fight against Mikey Garcia.
Alex Vaysfeld, Lipinets’ co-manager, told BoxingScene.com on Wednesday that the IBF junior welterweight champion “begged” him to proceed with the Garcia fight February 10 at The Alamodome in San Antonio. But based on the recommendation of Dr. Richard Gluckman, a physician affiliated with the California State Athletic Commission, Lipinets wasn’t permitted to fight Garcia due to current condition of his right hand.
Their scheduled 12-round, 140-pound title fight was postponed indefinitely Wednesday. Vaysfeld said Gluckman recommended that Lipinets take “at least three or four weeks” off to allow his swollen hand to heal. An X-ray and an MRI taken by Gluckman didn’t reveal a fracture, but Vaysfeld said Lipinets essentially was training with one hand.
“Sergey hurt his hand about a month ago and it just kept escalating,” Vaysfeld said. “He basically sparred with one hand. He was getting ready for the fight just using one hand only. It came to the point where it blew up and we were afraid there was a fracture or maybe even broken. He couldn’t even touch it.”
Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) kept training and sparring because the Kazakhstan native wants to prove himself against Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), a three-division champion who is widely viewed as one of the top 10 boxers, pound-for-pound, in the sport.
“Sergey’s disappointed,” Vaysfeld said. “He was ready to go. He begged me. He said, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll be fine. I wanna fight him. I wanna fight now.’ But it wasn’t my decision. There was nothing I could do. Personally, as a manager, as a person that’s responsible for Sergey’s career, of course I’m happy that they postponed it. Of course, I want him to come in at 150 percent. But Sergey, as a fighter, Sergey’s pissed off. He’s pissed at himself, more so than anyone else. He was very psyched up, very ready to go.”
The photo attached to this story was taken when the swelling was at its worst. Lipinets, 28, will continue training and hopes the fight will be rescheduled as soon as possible.
“Whenever the next date is, we’re gonna be ready,” Vaysfeld said. “Nothing is gonna divert us. I promise that. We’ll be very aware of that hand. We’ll make sure it heals up properly and make sure that he’s getting wrapped in a way that he’s not gonna hurt it.
“Dr. Gluckman’s report said he should be off for at least three or four weeks. A month from now, Sergey is ready to roll. If it happens March 10th, we’ll be ready March 10th.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.