Lipinets, Clayton battle to a draw

Screenshot 2020 10 25 At 3.59.58 Am
Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

In a clash for the vacant IBF interim welterweight title, #3 Sergey Lipinets (16-1-1, 12 KOs) and late sub #5 Custio Clayton (18-0-1, 12 KOs) fought to a twelve round majority draw on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Close tactical contest all the way. Scores were 115-113 Clayton, 114-114, 114-114. Clayton won the last three rounds on all three cards to salvage the draw. The title remains vacant.

“I thought I won the fight, but Clayton is a good fighter,” said Lipinets. “He was stronger than I thought he’d be. I haven’t fought in a year and it shows. I need to get my rhythm back in a couple of fights before I face the top level fighters.”

“At the end of the day, you can’t knock the judges’ decision, but I thought that I landed the cleaner shots and won,” said Clayton. “He came forward a lot, but he wasn’t landing as much. I probably could have pushed more a little earlier, but at the same time, I knew he was strong. I thought I stayed patient and poised. I could have put combinations together quicker, but overall I thought I fought a smart fight and pulled it off.”

The fight was defined by the Russian Lipinets’ blistering body attack against the precision of the Canadian Olympian Clayton’s jab. According to CompuBox, Lipinets outlanded Clayton to the body by an 80 to 29 tally, while Clayton had the superior jab to the tune of 135 landed compared to 68 from Lipinets.

Clayton was able to stymie the powerful Lipinets for much of the fight with his movement and that jab, but never put together the offensive arsenal to discourage Lipinets from coming forward. Clayton won the final three rounds on all of the judges’ cards to earn the draw.

“I showed the world that I’m not just a guy from Canada,” said Clayton. “I proved I’m a good fighter. People will have to respect me a little bit more. If Lipinets wants the rematch for the interim title, we should be able to make that happen.”

“For the interim title, I’ll be ready for a rematch with Clayton,” added Lipinets.

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  • This is where boxing really annoys me. The winner of this fight was going to be the mandatory. Now what?! You should fight until a decision is rendered for one or the other in a mandatory situation and all title fights should be 15 rounds. Fight could have went either way depending on what you like. Forward motion or counterpunching. Maybe Spence -Garcia will be a draw too. That would be something.

    • I agree but this was not a draw. Lipinets looked terrible and Clayton should have had his hand raised….as the winner.

      • Deano this is nothing new in boxing. I’m numb to it. Did I think Clayton won the fight? Yes. Was I surprised by the decision? Not at all. Judges (somehow) confuse forward motion with effective aggression. I bet Clayton and saw this coming a mile away. Anyone remember pernell vs Oscar and Julio? The judging in boxing is, was, and always will be horrible. Too much money involved. If you aren’t the house fighter you better do something special or you’re not going to get the nod.

    • Back in the day, Doug DeWitt and Tony Thornton fought to a 12 round draw for the USBA Middleweight Title, and decided to fight a 13th round to break the tie, in which Dewitt won. I believe that fight is on YouTube for whoever wants to see for themselves. That should be the norm in such fights….

  • Robbery! Clayton clearly outclassed Lipinets. Clayton showed phenomenal speed. quick, clean jabs that snapped Lipinets head back all night. great body work and lightning fast combos too…lipinets just wasnt very impressive…he was aggressive, but got countered and once in awhile he would land a clean body shot.

    After Spence embarrasses Garcia, Clayton would be an intriguing filler before the crawford unification.

  • Custio landed good clean lunches but needed to put more combos together. When he was they landed fairly well. Glad to see him box well either way although against the upper elite I’m not sure the constant lateral movement will carry him to decision wins.

  • This put the Loma / Lopez fight to shame. These guys boxed on a much higher level. I’d love to see Clayton and Ugas mix it up!

    • You said it. I was thinking Ugas and Clayton would make for an interesting fight. I taught
      Clayton won the fight but he needs to come
      forward more. He hurt Lipinets to the body
      and didn’t capitalized. I would like to see
      Clayton again. Maybe Sean Porter or Ugas.
      I think he is that good.

  • I thought Clayton won. I hate draws as they accomplish nothing. I’ve been saying it for years; instead of 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 round bouts, there should be 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13 round bouts. Although still possible, it would greatly reduce the possibility of draws.

  • I scored the fight 7-5 in rounds for Clayton. It could even be 8-4 if I were a little more generous. That was no draw. Clayton clearly won the fight. His jab was a major disruptor for Lipinets and it kept him from setting himself to punch. That jab was world class. He threw the jab to the body and head and some of those shots could have been knockout blows to a lesser opponent.

    Clayton’s constant movement had Lipinets lunging to land a punch. He often forgot to jab his way in and even when he got close enough to punch, he was frequently countered by sharp uppercuts and hooks. The main problem with Clayton in the first half of the fight is that his work rate just wasn’t very high. He did step it up in the second half of the fight and did much better. However, I’m sure the constant movement back and to the sides didn’t gain favor in the eyes of some judges, but it sure was effective against Lipinets. I didn’t hold that against him because he was punching while moving.

    Neither man was really hurt during the fight, but Clayton looked impressive while Lipinets just looked flat and slow. I’m sure Clayton’s movement and strong jab had something to do with that.

    Lipinets got a gift tonight. It seems that he doesn’t punch hard enough to hurt true welterweights, so his future in the division is uncertain. As for Clayton, his future looks bright, but I don’t know any of the top fighters who would want to get in the ring with him. He is the type of fighter that would give Danny Garcia and his slow feet major problems.

    I would like to see him in the ring with Garcia or Porter. He’s quick enough, has decent power, punches sharply and lands cleanly. His major league jab is his best weapon and he uses it consistently with great effect. I really look forward to seeing him fight again.

      • Scooby, how can you call this a gift and say you scored the fight 7 to 5. One round the other way is a Draw.

        Before, going further, I don’t necessarily disagree with your score if 7 to 5 for Clayton. However, this was a close fight and a lot of rounds could have went either way. While Clayton’s jab was a shining punch, Lipinets probably erased 3 of them with every punch he landed. Consider the judges viewpoints and his aggression could have appeared more successful than it actually was. Clayton was the bigger stronger man, but seemed unwilling to back Lipinets up. It was what cost him a Decision that he seemed more than capable of getting.

        As for the mandatory…who cares? It’s not like any of us hardcore fans were calling for Spence vs Clayton or Lipinets for that matter. We all know what fight matters. All can forgive a tune up for Spence, especially, with Covid further complicating things, but bring on Crawford!

  • Let’s minimize or eliminate boxing draw results by bringing back 15 round title eliminator fights and title fights.

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