Unbeaten Mikey Garcia became a four-division world boxing champion Saturday night, joining Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.
Garcia scored a decision victory over Sergey Lipinets for the IBF junior welterweight title on Showtime from the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio. He has scored titles at 126, 130, 135 and 140 pounds.
The judges ruled in favor of Garcia by scores of 116-111, 117-110 and 117-110. He not only handed Lipinets his first career loss, but he also knocked him down for the first time ever.
“He came in exactly as I expected – a very tough, very hungry and strong fighter,” Garcia said. “We worked with angles behind the jab. He’s very dangerous, but we had a great game plan and we were able to prevail.
“I know I carry the power, but I was fighting a bigger man and he could take a punch. I didn’t want to get caught and I had to be patient.”
Garcia adds the title to the WBC lightweight belt he held coming in.
“What I love is I have all the options,” Garcia said. “I could go down to 135 to unify titles, which is what I really want to do. And in a couple of fights you’re going to see me at 147.
For Lipinets, he’ll try to regroup following the first loss in 14 fights.
“It was probably experience that took over at some point,” Lipinets said. “Mikey is a great fighter, he can obviously crack. It was just experience that I was lacking.
“I want to go back in the gym and work on the problems I showed in the ring. There are a couple of holes I need to close. I’ll be back. It’s a learning experience.”
Kiryl Relikh topped Rances Barthelemy via decision to capture the vacant WBA super lightweight title. The bout was a rematch from 2017. Relikh threw over 1,200 punches during the contest, landing an average of 103 per round.
“Last time I was not ready,” Relikh said. “I didn’t have proper preparation in the first fight but this time, with my new trainers, I was ready. I’m very happy. I’ve waited for this dream for 20 years. I’ve worked hard for this dream and now it’s mine.”
Mario Barrios remained unbeaten, stopping Eudy Bernardo in another contest, while Richard Commey defeated Alejandro Luna for the IBF lightweight belt and Brandon Figueroa knocked out Giovanni Delgado.