Sergey Lipinets admits Custio Clayton had his moments during their 12-round welterweight title fight five months ago.
Lipinets just doesn’t think Clayton did enough to warrant winning on one of the scorecards. The former IBF junior welterweight champion claims he won eight rounds against Canada’s Clayton, a late replacement who fought Lipinets to a majority draw October 24 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Judge Don Trella scored seven rounds for Clayton, 115-113. Trella was overruled by judges Glenn Feldman and Tom Schreck, both of whom scored their competitive contest even, 114-114.
“It’s not my position to judge the judges,” Lipinets told BoxingScene.com. “But during the fight, I thought I was winning. I thought I was ahead 8-4, 7-5 at the worst. But it is what it is. I’m not a judge. They’re the ones looking at it.”
CompuBox credited Clayton for landing 72 more punches overall than Lipinets (247-of-687 to 175-of-610). According to those unofficial statistics, Clayton landed five more power punches (112-of-225 to 107-of-256), but he connected with almost twice as many jabs (135-of-462 to 68-of-354).
Clayton (18-0-1, 12 KOs) replaced Uzbekistan’s Kudratillo Abdukakhorov as Lipinets’ opponent on approximately two weeks’ notice. Abdukakhorov (18-0, 10 KOs) was forced to withdraw from that bout due to a visa issue.
Alex Vaysfeld, Lipinets’ manager, informed BoxingScene.com that an immediate rematch with Clayton wasn’t presented as an option to them. Instead, Lipinets (16-1-1, 12 KOs) will encounter emerging welterweight contender Jaron Ennis (26-0, 24 KOs, 1 NC) in the main event of Showtime’s tripleheader Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena (9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT).
Although Lipinets would welcome a second fight with Clayton, Vaysfeld feels Lipinets won their first fight as well.
“We’ve watched that fight at least three times – me, Sergey and [trainer] Joe [Goossen],” Vaysfeld said. “My personal view of that fight is the first seven rounds, he beat Clayton hands down. Clayton was running for his dear life and never wanted to engage. And then, when Sergey’s hamstring started really acting up, and he was really deprived of his ability to move the way he should’ve moved, he started sort of following Clayton.
“Clayton is a great fighter. He caught up on that and he started pot-shotting Sergey, when Sergey was in a position to get hit. That’s understandable. But the first seven, eight rounds, if you look at it again, hands down [Lipinets won]. He was out-punching [Clayton], out-working, landing more, being an aggressor. I don’t know what else those judges need to look at to realize that this is how you separate the winner from the loser.”
The William Hill sports book lists Ennis as an 8-1 favorite to beat Lipinets, who is widely viewed as a significant step up in competition for the Philadelphia native.
In Showtime’s co-feature, Lithuania’s Eimantas Stanionis (12-0, 9 KOs) and Puerto Rico’s Thomas Dulorme (25-4-1, 16 KOs) are scheduled to square off in a 12-round WBA welterweight eliminator. The telecast will begin with a 12-round, 115-pound championship bout between the Philippines’ Jerwin Ancajas (32-1-2, 22 KOs) and Mexico’s Jonathan Rodriguez (22-1, 16 KOs), the mandatory challenger for Ancajas’ IBF junior bantamweight title.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.