Lipinets and Clayton Battle To a Majority Draw
In what turned out to be a methodical and tactical fight, Sergey Lipinets (16-1-1, 12 KOs) and late-substitute Custio Clayton (18-0-1, 12 KOs) fought to a majority decision draw (115-113 Clayton, 114-114 twice) at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut in a 12-round contest for the IBF Interim World Welterweight title.
Early on it was Clayton who set the tone. He jabbed and used footwork to box from the outside over the first four rounds. A 33-year-old from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, he was calculated and intelligent with his punch placement, scoring points without exposing himself to counter shots.
Lipinets marched forward, but the former IBF World Junior Welterweight champion was making the mistake of not always coming in behind the jab. As a result, he was getting caught with jabs as well as straight right hands and uppercuts.
The 31-year-old from Kazakhstan stepped up the pressure in the middle rounds. However, he found difficulty landing hard punches up top. While his activity increased, body punches were the only shots that Lipinets was able to land with any consistency.
BETTER THAN ADVERTISED?
A late replacement for Kudratillo Abdukakhorov, (who had to withdraw due to visa issues,) the Canadian was not only very effective using the entire ring, but also showed himself to be an excellent technician. And he never slacked up on his concentration during the entire fight.
Probably sensing this was a close fight heading down the stretch, Clayton stepped up the intensity during the last two rounds. His strong effort in the 11th and 12th saved him from defeat, according to the judges’ scorecards.
NIP AND TUCK
This contest turned out to be a question of ‘what did you prefer’. Did you favor the pressure of Lipinets or the boxing class of Clayton? Truthfully, this was a very close fight throughout that could have gone either way. Afterward, both men said they would like to fight a rematch.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.