Mikey Garcia captured a world title in his fourth weight division, outpointing previously undefeated Sergey Lipinets to win the IBF Junior Welterweight World Championship Saturday on SHOWTIME from Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio.
With the victory, Garcia (38-0, 30 KOs) joined Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez as the only fighters in history to win titles at 126, 130, 135 and 140 pounds.
“It’s a great feeling. Winning this fourth title in a fourth division is an honor,” Garcia said.
“To get to be mentioned with Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez is a huge honor for me. It just leaves a little chapter in boxing with my name, my brother, my dad. I think people will remember the Garcia family for ages to come.”
Garcia, who was fighting for just the second time at 140 pounds, relied on a steady diet of combos to back up Lipinets, who was making the first defense of the IBF title he won last November on SHOWTIME. Garcia floored Lipinets for the first time in his career, connecting on a counter left hook midway through the seventh in a rousing moment that sent the pro-Garcia crowd at Freeman Coliseum to their feet.
Garcia, who won by scores of 116-111 and 117-110 twice, connected on 46 percent of his power shots compared to 36 percent for the defending champion.
“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.”
After the fight, Garcia, who still holds the WBC title at lightweight, reiterated his mantra that he’s seeking the biggest fights available, regardless of weight division.
“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.
Despite being the defending champion, Lipinets (13-1, 10 KOs) was fighting in just his 14th professional fight. The Russian, who was born in Kazakhstan, delivered a valiant effort against one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
“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.”