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Old School Lessons Bring Mikey Garcia His Fourth World Title

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  • Old School Lessons Bring Mikey Garcia His Fourth World Title

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    BY FRANK LOTIERZO

    One of the definitions of the word clinic is "an exemplary display or performance." If you're an avid boxing observer you don't see them as often as you'd like, but when you do, you never forget them or the fighter responsible for the display. This past weekend WBC lightweight titlist Mikey Garcia 38-0 (30) put on another clinical exhibition while defeating IBF junior welterweight title holder Sergey Lipinets 13-1 (10). In winning a lopsided 12-round decision, Garcia earned his fourth world title in four different weight divisions (126, 130, 135, 140) and that isn't even the major story regarding him.

    The biggest takeaway from the fight is just how masterful, economical and proficient Mikey Garcia was against a very tough and underrated foe in Sergey Lipinets. The unbeaten Lipinets was no joke and would be a handful for any other junior welterweight in the world. He has good head and upper body movement along with a great chin, he's awkward and strong with respectable power and is clearly not the one-dimensional fighter some have portrayed him as being. And maybe the most admirable thing about him is he never stopped trying to win, not just go the distance, after realizing by the fourth or fifth round that the fighter in front of him was just better than him.

    Throughout the bout boxing fans saw what things look like when a great fighter and technician like Mikey Garcia fights a very tough, outstanding fighter like Lipinets. The bottom line is Garcia was just better and there's no fight plan or big shot trainer who could've been working in Lipinets’ corner who could've helped him alter the result.

    Garcia once again showed that he is the most fundamentally sound fighter in boxing. Garcia's skills are completely old school and he never deviates from them, aside from a tweak here and there. Everything he does is based on efficiency and he is laser-focused every minute of every round. He's not flashy but he's perfect.

    Stylistically, Garcia is a boxer-puncher who is also a great counter-puncher. Lipinets fought a very smart tactical fight by bringing pressure, but not predictable pressure. He pushed the fight in spots behind his deceptively quick jab and mixed it with some good body work. The problem was that Garcia (and this is what’s so great about watching him) seldom lets his opponent’s punches go unanswered. And that was on full display against Lipinets. Almost every time Sergey initiated the exchange, Garcia responded with his sharp jab and, if it found a home, his right cross was on the way before the jab was fully recoiled.

    What sets Garcia apart from many of today's top pound-for-pound fighters is how he is equally effective fighting as the aggressor or stepping back giving ground so he can set up his counters. And that was the conundrum that confronted Lipinets. If he tried to push the action, Garcia smartly inched away from him and countered beautifully off his near misses. And when Mikey was fighting with his back to the ropes, it was often of his own volition, as he picked off most of Lipinets’ heavy artillery with his high guard while at the same time being in perfect position to fire back.

    The counter left hook that dropped Lipinets in the seventh round was another display of technical proficiency. Lipinets started his right uppercut from a little too far out, due to Garcia having confused him, forcing him to guess if he was about to move in or retreat. Seeing that Lipinets’ chin was exposed due to the right hand being turned under for the uppercut, Mikey instinctively turned over his hook and it landed clean, dropping Lipinets for the first time in his career.

    Garcia is more than just a boxing textbook; he has a great chin and strong legs. Shortly before scoring the knockdown, Garcia was caught by a thunderous right on the chin. It really was a Sunday punch and yet Garcia didn't move. Not only that, but he didn't lose his foot positioning and he maintained his balance as well, remaining in position to counter and finish the exchange, thus further illustrating his stout chin, strong legs, great balance and applicable ring strength at 140.

    The one negative that was highlighted by commentator Paulie Malignaggi was that Garcia sometimes is squared up when against the ropes, and for a fighter not as good or as experienced as Garcia, that could be construed as negative. But what Paulie failed to convey was that Garcia was positioned like that because of his ability to pick off punches while against the ropes; in that position he wasn’t getting hit much. If he's not getting hit, being in more of a neutral stance allows him the option of leading from either side, once he sees which side his opponent’s momentum has left him most vulnerable.

    Mikey also has no reservation about fighting in the red zone where he is within reach for his opponents to hit him. He doesn't look to get out when he's in range to be touched back because he has total confidence in his ability to block and counter and fully accepts that in order for him to put any real hurt on his opponent, it comes with the risk he may get hit in return.....which is almost a plus in his case because it allows him to answer back without having to lunge.

    Garcia now holds titles at 135 and 140 and at those weights he's not an underdog to anyone. Hopefully he doesn't move up to welterweight because all that he does that’s so great could be blunted by the physicality of the upper-tier contenders and title holders currently there. Mikey's not a big guy at 140, and once he moved up to ’47 he'd be fighting good fighters who were effectively 15 pounds heavier on fight night, which is beyond his physical capacity.

    Based on his performance against Lipinets, Garcia has to be considered one of the top fighters in boxing when it comes to versatility and skill. Garcia vs. Lomachenko fighting for a unified title at 135 is nearly as intriguing as Joshua vs. Wilder at heavyweight. And if Garcia-Lomachenko is down the road too far (Lomachenko is slated to fight WBA lightweight title holder Jorge Linres in May), Mikey can fight Regis Prograis or Josh Taylor at 140 and there would be a lot of interest in those bouts as well. Or perhaps he could meet IBF title holder Robert Easter in a lightweight unification bout....then again, if Garcia and Easter are ever matched, I could see Garcia being handcuffed after the fight and led to jail with a murder charge against him.

    Make no mistake. Mikey Garcia is as much fun to watch as any fighter in the sport. He's the most scientific fighter in the sweet science and between 135 and 140 there may be no one his equal.

    Photo credit: Amanda Westcott / SHOWTIME

    Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel



  • #2
    Mikey is the most fundamentally stout fighter in the game....how anyone could rate Golovkin or Lomachenko over him.

    Golovkin lacks the stylistic diversity and Lomachenko doesn't have nearly the body of work, but I'd love to see them fight.

    Comment


    • #3
      Whoa . . . .

      Hold your horses there cowboy.



      Assuming “stout” in your vernacular is interchangeable for “sound” . . . .

      Mikey is “one of” the most fundamentally sound.



      Not sure Mikey is “the most” fundamentally sound.


      That said he had a good win on Saturday night against Sergey Lipenets.

      Fought the perfect strategy.



      Work off the jab.

      Control distance.

      Exploit Lipenet’s love for punching with commitment and it’s associative tendency to overreach.



      Attack/punch when Sergey is over exteneded, heavily committed, glued in position, and can’t escape.

      Keep the left jab in Lipenet’s face momentarily before (delayed) retrieval.

      So Sergey’s sight is blinded for the right cross.

      Exploit Sergey’s tendency to defensively lean away; and set that up for right crosses.


      Robert Garcia put together a great strategy and Mikey executed it very, very well.

      This is championship level criticism; Lipenets though (and I do love his style) is not a top caliber pure boxer.

      Garcia does’t have too many wins over those.



      Given Garcia’s credentials Lipenets was not exorbitantly risky.

      Still, there is a lot to come.



      Not a bad read Frank.



      Cheers,

      Storm.




      http://www.thesweetscience.com/newfo...=7247#post7247

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks, Storm.

        Yes, Mikey is the best technician in boxing. Not the flashiest, prettiest or most athletic. Unless you have a special prospect or talent, Mikey is the one you'd have him emulate....as the same applies to Joe Louis.

        Comment


        • #5
          I still like Loma if they met. However, that fight against the tough Russian should be shown by trainers as an example of how to use fundamentals, great defense, staying in the pocket, etc. It was a clinic on those things.

          Comment


          • #6
            The jab and then right worked all night for Mikey. Lip's corner should have done something about that. First time shame on you. fifty-first time shame on me. Also, Broner and now Lip have extended Mikey the full distance. TEAM LOMA is watching that and planning accordingly. Bet on it.

            Comment


            • #7
              But enjoyable read

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks, Ted!

                Yeah....all the killers Loma has beaten has Mikey terrified!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Do you honestly think Loma would have fallen for that left -right stuff? He would have been spinning around a stationary Garcia and peppering him with fast volleys of stinging stuff. Soon, Mikey would find out that those stings can get harder and harder and even carry some poison. No one in this solar system could perform a clinic on Loma. Like I said, two fights in a row where Mikey has been extended. And Broner was one of them!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    By the way, one of the worse refs in boxing never had to break up the fighters. Easy money.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Loma will be running more than Usain Bolt after Mikey touches him a few times....along with his cap gun.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GlovedFist View Post
                        Loma will be running more than Usain Bolt after Mikey touches him a few times....along with his cap gun.

                        Get your wallet loose pal. I hope they meet before Wilder-AJ so I can parlay my winnings heh heh. Meanwhile, I think Loma and Linares has been conformed. Linares's style is perfect for Loma to perpetrate a slaughter.
                        Last edited by Kid Blast; 03-12-2018, 08:23 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm not sure who I like between Garcia-Lomachenko........but love your confidence dwindling in Wilder and you need a back up. But I know our bet is good for Joshua-Wilder and you'll lose and yes Loma beats the aging Linares.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GlovedFist View Post
                            Thanks, Storm.

                            Yes, Mikey is the best technician in boxing. Not the flashiest, prettiest or most athletic. Unless you have a special prospect or talent, Mikey is the one you'd have him emulate....as the same applies to Joe Louis.
                            Mikey makes some mistakes others with the same experience don’t.

                            I won’t get into them now.

                            Otherwise I will be doing your research for you.



                            And, I have already done that once the last week for TGD whom (jumped in with all guns blazing and) disregarded the relevance of Clenbuterol’s synthesis techniques and dosages as it applies to half lives.
                            Silly text editor


                            For now take a look at Artur Beterbiev.

                            As much as one man (Artur) can be that is not another (Mikey); Beterbiev is pretty much every bit as technically sound as Mikey is.

                            And *more.



                            Artur has a lot more *versatility; due (but not limited) to his ability to fight orthodox, southpaw, ortho-paw, and south-odox.

                            This additional *versatility means Artur is technically sound to (at least) the same or even perhaps more of an extent than Mikey.

                            This is because Beterbiev has more expansive/versatile skill set within which his fundamentally technically sound style is spread across.



                            It’s easier to be fundamentally sound in your native stance.

                            At least twice as hard to do it both ways.

                            Then, at least three times as hard to do it all four ways; orthodox, southpaw, ortho-paw, and south-odox.



                            Mikey (championship level criticism here) is pretty much a no frills fighter that stays controlled, composed, and reasonably tight.

                            There’s nothing wrong with that, but . . . .

                            Mikey manages it because he usually executes a far less versatile/complex skill set than Beterbiev.



                            If Mikey were to begin integrating some of the things Beterbiev does into his fights then we would probably see Mikey’s fundamental’s start to get ragged.

                            Which is what happens when he fights guys that have skills and can confuse him; even momentarily.

                            Like Broner.




                            Cheers,

                            Storm.

                             

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by stormcentre View Post

                              Mikey makes some mistakes others with the same experience don’t.

                              I won’t get into them now.

                              Otherwise I will be doing your research for you.



                              And, I have already done that once the last week for TGD whom (jumped in with all guns blazing and) disregarded the relevance of Clenbuterol’s synthesis techniques and dosages as it applies to half lives.
                              Silly text editor


                              For now take a look at Artur Beterbiev.

                              As much as one man (Artur) can be that is not another (Mikey); Beterbiev is pretty much every bit as technically sound as Mikey is.

                              And *more.



                              Artur has a lot more *versatility; due (but not limited) to his ability to fight orthodox, southpaw, ortho-paw, and south-odox.

                              This additional *versatility means Artur is technically sound to (at least) the same or even perhaps more of an extent than Mikey.

                              This is because Beterbiev has more expansive/versatile skill set within which his fundamentally technically sound style is spread across.



                              It’s easier to be fundamentally sound in your native stance.

                              At least twice as hard to do it both ways.

                              Then, at least three times as hard to do it all four ways; orthodox, southpaw, ortho-paw, and south-odox.



                              Mikey (championship level criticism here) is pretty much a no frills fighter that stays controlled, composed, and reasonably tight.

                              There’s nothing wrong with that, but . . . .

                              Mikey manages it because he usually executes a far less versatile/complex skill set than Beterbiev.



                              If Mikey were to begin integrating some of the things Beterbiev does into his fights then we would probably see Mikey’s fundamental’s start to get ragged.

                              Which is what happens when he fights guys that have skills and can confuse him; even momentarily.

                              Like Broner.




                              Cheers,

                              Storm.

                              Beiterbiev looked pphenomenal when he first appeared on the scene... I didn't know if he could transition from cruiser to light heavy ....and lately he's been on the missing persons list. We never got to see him against elite competition and that's a shame....I hope there's enough of his early potential left to show the world ​world what he's made of...

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