Saturday night at the Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, Texas an edition of Showtime Championship boxing aired with a Junior Welterweight world title double header. The main event would be IBF 140 lb champion Sergey Lipinets making the first defense of his title against three division world champion Mikey Garcia co-featured by former multi division world champion Rances Barthelemy against Kiryl Relikh meeting for the vacant WBA 140 lb championship. If those bouts were not enough to please fans, Showtime extreme broadcast three exciting undercard bouts at bantamweight, lightweight and Super Lightweight divisions.
The main event between Sergey Lipinets and Mikey Garcia was a quality bout from start to finish. It opened with both fighters feeling each other out Garcia was slightly more active while Lipinets visibly the more physically strong fighter. It would be the volume of Garcia versus the come forward style of Lipinets all night, Garcia appeared as though he was doing more damage because of his work-rate while Lipinets who was more reserved with his punches forced Garcia to fight while moving backwards.
At the midway point, Garcia would deal with a bloodied nose while Lipinets face started swelling due to the volume of punches landed by Garcia.In the seventh Lipinets missed an overhand right then was dropped for the first time in his career from a Garcia left hook counter. While not hurt Lipinets would get up and pressure Garcia keeping the round outside the knockdown close. The remainder of the fight was a “Give and Take” experience as both men had equal success and they closed round twelve fighting like each man needed the round to walk away champion. When official scores were read Judges Mark Caloy and Julie Lederman scored it 117-110 while Nelson Vazquez 116-111 all in favor of Mikey Garcia who is now a four division world champion. My personal scorecard was 115-113 for Garcia and the lower work rate of Lipinets was a major factor along with the knockdown. Should Lipinets had been a more active fighter in my opinion the night would have belonged to him but its not his style of fighting.
With the win Mikey Garcia improved to 38-0 (30) while Sergey Lipinets suffering only his first defeat now stands at 13-1 (10). I think Lipinets has a future as a 140 lb fighter with some adjustments to his style he is capable of claiming another world title. This division despite wins over Adrien Boner and now Sergey Lipinets is too big for Garcia who despite his boxing ability lacks power for the more active top names at 140 lbs.
The nights co-feature between Kiryl Relikh and Rances Barthelemy, while it promised to be an exciting affair based off both men’s styles and their first meeting won by Barthelemy in a disputed split decision ended up a one sided affair. It opened with Barthelemy attempting to box while using the jab and keep Relikh at a distance. The fighter from Belarus who has been victim of questionable scoring against both Barthelemy and Ricky Burns in consecutive bouts had other ideas.
A steady work rate of over 100 punches per round along with responsible pressure from Relikh kept Barthelemy on his back-foot all night. There was little offense from Barthelemy and what offense there was he connected a small percentage of those punches, the most success from Barthelemy came with low-blows which cost him an extra point in round seven.
This was a dominate performance from Kiryl Relikh who used his work-rate and combinations punching to shut Rances Barthelemy down in a non-competitive affair When official scores were read Judges Alfredo Polanco and Cesar Ramos had it 118-109 while Rafael Ramos 117-110 all in favor of Kiryl Relikh who along with the WBA 140 lb world title improved to 22-2 (19). The former two division world champion Rances Barthelemy after his first loss now stands at 26-1 (13).
Opening the night on Showtime Extreme was an IBF Lightweight elimination bout between former world title challenger Richard Commey and undefeated Alejandro Luna. In the opening rounds, Commey working with new trainer Andre Rozier looked sharp as he boxed behind the jab followed by crisp combinations. At the start of round four Luna, with his face showing signs of the Commey jab had some successful moments when he pinned Commey to the ropes and let loose combinations. A pep talk from from Andre Rozier at the end of round five that reminded Commey laying against the ropes cost him split decision losses against both Robert Easter Jr and Denis Shafikov encouraged Commey to start round six strong in rings center.
Once the fight was back in ring center, Commey shortly after dropped Luna for the first time in his career. He would get up take the mandatory eight count but be deducted an extra point by referee David Fields for spitting out his mouth piece. The bout would last only seconds more as another Richard Commey combination put Luna on his back halting the affair at 1:54 of round six. With the win Richard Commey now the mandatory challenger for Robert Easter Jr and his IBF lightweight title improved to 26-2 (23), after only his first defeat Alejandro Luna now stands at 22-1 (15).
Also on the Showtime Extreme broadcast, undefeated Super Lightweight prospect Mario Barrios needed just three minutes and thirty five seconds to boost his resume with a second round stoppage over veteran Eudy Bernardo. After a feel out first round, Barrios landed a sensational counter right hand that sent Bernardo crashing to the canvas ending the affair at 35 seconds of round two. While viewers didn’t get a long look at Barrios what little bit they did impressed and with his win Mario Barrios improved to 21-0 (13) while Eudy Bernardo now stands at 23-3 (17).
The final Showtime extreme broadcast bout was a one sided affair between undefeated Super Bantamweight prospect Brandon Figueroa and Giovanni Delgado. There was no lack of action and Giovanni Delgado certainly showed tremendous heart but tremendously over-matched he took a beating every minute of every round. It was the work rate of Figueroa along with combination punching that Giovanni Delgado had no answers for he also had no advice from his corner. It was the type of fight that could have been stopped after round four without dispute from anyone watching but referee Gregorio Alvarez refused to acknowledge the one sided beating. At the end of round six Delgado’s corner-man asked “What do you want to do you looked good lets give it another round” and this was after his corner threatened to halt the bout after round five.
A silent Delgado should have advised his corner to say “My Fighter has had enough” yet they allowed him to take more punishment until finally a commission member signaled to referee Gregorio Alvarez it was enough punishment for Delgado and the contest was waved off in the sixth. With the win Brandon Figueroa improved to 15-0 (10 ) while Giovanni Delgado now stands at 16-7 ( 9). My personal hope is Delgado a game young man finds a new team to work with for future contest.
In off air action-
Welterweight- Eimantas Stanionis 5-0 (4) def. Hector Munoz 25-20-1 (17) via TKO 4
Super Welterweight-Yulian Tembotov 6-0 (4) def. Noe Lozano 2-3 via UD 6.
Heavyweight- Efe Ajagba 4-0 (4) def. Antonio Johnson 6-3 (4) via KO 1.
Cruiserweight- Efetobor Apochi 3-0 (3) def. Darrius Flowers 2-6 (2) via TKO 2.
Super Flyweight- Robert Rodrigiez 1-0 def. Giovanni Noriega 1-2 (1) via UD 4.