Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs) won a hard-fought unanimous decision over Akihiro Kondo (29-7-1, 16 KOs) to win the vacant IBF Junior welterweight title this past Saturday night. It was a gutsy effort by the Union Boxing/Journeyman Management managed Lipinets who overcame a cut in route to victory. Lipinets ironically won the same title that his legendary trainer James “Buddy” McGirt did nearly 30 years ago. It did not take long for the rumor mill to start that Lipinets would be making his first defense against Adrien Broner in the first quarter of 2018. Though nothing is confirmed as of yet on such a fight, some chuckled at the notion of Lipinets being able to defeat Broner based off of his performance Saturday night. McGirt was quick to warn Lipinets doubters to not be so quick to judge.
“I can tell you one thing right away from personal experience. There are some fighters who you will not be able to get out of there. It’s just how it is in boxing. When I saw Kondo at the weigh-in and how cut up he was physically, I knew this fight was in route to a full 12 round distance fight. Kondo like Lipinets was coming to win that world title. People forget Sergey only has 13 professional fights. Kondo has more knockouts than Sergey has professional fights.
“More attention should be on how Sergey fought through being cut, followed my instructions, and had a plan b. A fight against Broner would be a totally different fight. A totally different gameplan and clash of styles. You cannot base the outcome on a Broner fight with Sergey from what you saw Saturday night. It don’t work like that in boxing,” said McGirt.