The Sergey Lipinets train that’s been on a fast track to a world title opportunity is about to get rolling again.
After blowing away three straight opponents with a combined record of 59-2-1, Sergey Lipinets (9-0, 7 KOs) once again will challenge himself against a veteran foe when he battles Walter Castillo (26-3-1, 19 KOs) in a clash of powerful 140-pound contenders. The scheduled 12-round fight tops a Premier Boxing Champions card from Horseshoe Tunica Hotel & Casino in Tunica, Mississippi (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Lipinets kept his record perfect on March 15 when he knocked out Levan Ghvamichava with a vicious fifth-round left hook to the body. That followed a 10-round unanimous decision over unbeaten Lydell Rhodes (23-0-1) on October 30, the last of four victories Lipinets registered in 2015.
Rhodes is the only fighter to take Lipinets past nine rounds and one of just two opponents who has taken the 27-year-old Kazakhstan native, who now lives in Russia, the distance.
In Castillo, Lipinets will be facing a similar hammer-fisted opponent whose last five victories have come by way of knockout. Most recently, the 27-year-old Castillo—a lifelong resident of Managua, Nicaragua—fought knockout artist Keita Obara to a 12-round majority draw on November 7 in Miami.
Castillo, who at 5-foot-10 is three inches taller than Lipinets, has never been stopped in his career, with two of his losses coming by split decision (including one in his first professional bout) and the third being a 10-round unanimous decision to Amir Imam. That defeat in April 2015 halted Castillo’s nine-fight winning streak.
Against Lipinets, Castillo is expecting the kind of all-out slugfest that’s defined his career.
“This is going to be a war,” Castillo said. “Every fight I’m in is exciting, and this one will be no different. The winner of this fight will be in line for a world title, and I’m going to be the man with my hand raised.
“I’m very motivated by this fight, and I plan on giving Lipinets his first pro loss.”
Lipinets insists Castillo won’t be the only one walking into the ring with a goal.
“My opponent is a very tough and experienced guy, but I want to be the first one to stop him,” he said. “Buddy McGirt is my new trainer, and we’ve been having a great training camp. We will have a plan for anything Castillo can bring into the ring.
“I believe with my new trainer I will add even more to my arsenal.”
Leading into the Lipinets-Castillo main event will be a 10-round bout between two more heavy hitters, as 2012 Olympic silver medalist Tugstsogt Nyambayar (5-0, 5 KOs) faces Rafael Vazquez (16-2, 13 KOs) in a 126-pound clash.
For a complete overview of Lipinets vs Castillo, visit our fight page.