140-pounders were the focus at today’s SHOWTIME press conference in San Antonio. IBF junior welterweight world champion Sergey Lipinets went face to face with unbeaten three-division world champion Mikey Garcia, and two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy faced off against Kiryl Relikh in advance of their rematch for the vacant WBA world title. They collide Saturday night at the Freeman Coliseum.
Garcia looks to become a four-division champion, joining future Hall of Famers Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez as the only fighters to capture titles at 126, 130, 135 and 140 pounds, while Barthelemy has a chance to become the only Cuban in history to win titles in three weight divisions.
Mikey Garcia: “At the end of my career, this is the fight that will have opened the door for even bigger fights. I plan on moving up and fighting even bigger names. This is the kind of fight that really motivates me and it’s going to be the first of many big fights…Lipinets knows what a win over me will do for his career, and it’s my job to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Sergey Lipinets: “My right hand is hungry and it’s going to be eating a lot on Saturday night…I’m young, I’m hungry and I have a great team behind me. I’m fast, strong and I have all the confidence I need heading into this fight.”
Rances Barthelemy: “Everyone knows that the first fight with Relikh was an unbelievable war. People thought it was a close fight, but I’m here to make history and erase any doubt…I always tell the truth and Relikh is a powerful puncher, I won’t take that away from him. I never touched the canvas though, but Relikh did. On Saturday night, I’m going to put him back on the canvas.”
Kiryl Relikh: “I don’t think I lost the first fight, but that’s up to the judges. This time, we will be much better and not leave it in the judges’ hands if we have the opportunity.”