Fight News by NYF

Steady Lipinets Decisions Kondo In Showtime TV Opener


Sergey Lipinets was a steady Eddie, using his feet and fists to great effect, in out-classing the game but not as athletic Akihiro Kondo in the Showtime TV opener Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

It was not a thriller; anyone expecting a mini GGG in the fighter from Kazakhstan would have left bummed out. Lipinets moves smartly, and since he isn’t a bomber, fights the right way for his skill set.

After twelve the judges stated thusly; 119-110, 117-111, 117-111, for Lipinets, now the IBF 140 pound champion.

The crowd booed, wrongly. Lip clearly won on my card, but many, many folks had it close. I think the right guy won.

Lip (12-0 entering) was 139.75 on Friday to 139.5 for the man from Japan (29-6-1 entering).

In the first, we saw Lipinets retreating, assessing. He shot a snappy jab, looked relaxed, like he wanted to get warmed up and then be nasty. To the second, Kondo pressed, and was wary, as he had Lip on the ropes. Smart. The Japanese boxer slung hooks to the body, then ate a right from Lip, to the gut. In round three, Lip got busier. The Cali resident, looking to be the second most prominent athlete from Kazahkstan, was so relaxed and in command. He was stepping it up in increments.

In round four, Lip threw a hook while sliding out, just missed landing totally clean. Kondo kept it busy in tight, kept his guard tight and didn’t wing shots, knowing he’d not get countered as easily. In the fifth, the crowd was chill, as the pace was presistent but not barn-burning. A stiff right cross didn’t buzz Kondo, and then he backed Lip up. The crowd dug it. Kondo edged forward, a look of determination on his mug. Lip ripped to the body, moved smartly and often.

To the sixth; Lip was now edgier, looking to get into a meaner groove. A cut formed on Lip, his forehead, but he soldiered on, after the head clash that caused it. Rights were now clanging Kondo. Lip slid right, left, he was hard to get a bead on. He’s more of a mover than maybe you’d think, from a Kazahk fighter, yes? Round 7 commenced; Kondo scored with flurries, he was throwing wider shots now. That body work by Lip, was it paying off more now? The left hook by Lip landed clean but Kondo wore it well. To round 8—Lip bobbed, weaved, used the legs. No, not cut from the GGG cloth. The blood on Lip was there but not streaming terribly.

In round nine, Lip mixed the jab and rights to the body. He was playing a long game? Round ten saw Lip sit down a bit more, with right crosses. But Kondo wasn’t hurt and kept attacking, not put off at all. We saw a right uppercut, the jab still snappy, Lip winning another round. To round 11, it was more of the same. Lip feinted and bobbed, his gas tank full, his output steady and his focus superb. The crowd was very chill, and hoped for a fiery 12th. Nah. Kondo was the busier to start, he had to know he needed three knockdowns to win. Lip banged him in tight, feinted him, made him miss mostly, so we went to the cards.

NOTE: I spoke to heavyweight Luis Ortiz before the card started, outside the building. His trainer Herman Caicedo told me their Friday meeting with the WBC had gone well, and they are hopeful sanctions against Ortiz for a PED positive will be minimized, because the Ortiz people brought documentation of his medical history, and presented how long he’d been using the medication which flagged red. Caicedo also told me that Team Ortiz is willing and able to do a test on his hair, which they say would prove he doesnt have any anobolics in his sytem, and hasn’t for up to a year. They say a test can prove it but they need a sanctioning body or regulatory body to order it. They are, I repeat, open to that, he told me. Ortiz was supposed to be across from Wilder on this evening, but the PED positive eliminated him from participating.



About Michael Woods

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine,, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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