The Fight of the Year candidate ends with Lipinets winning via 10th round TKO and Peterson announcing his retirement immediately afterward on PBC on FS1.
The best bout of 2019 thus far featured the rejuvenation of one career, and the end of another. Sergey Lipinets turned in his finest performance to date, scoring a 10th-round stoppage of brave, hometown favorite Lamont Peterson, Sunday night at the MGM National Harbor, in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
The welterweight firefight headlined an all-action card on PBC on FS1. Stopped for the second straight time, with both eyes swollen, Peterson (35-5-1, 17 KOs) announced his retirement.
“It’s been a long career but today is the day,” Peterson said in an emotional sendoff. “I’m thankful for the support. I love everyone here and I’m always going to support this area, but I’m sure it’s time for me to hang it up. I couldn’t go out in a better way here at home. This will be the last time you see me in the ring.
“It was back and forth and we were hitting each other with some good shots. It kind of just came out of nowhere at the end. That’s been happening to me more now and that let me know that it’s time for this to be the last time in the ring.”
“I feel great about the statement I made to the welterweight division,” said Lipinets (15-1, 11 KOs). “I just fought an excellent fighter. This let me know where I’m at in the 147-pound weight class. You can see that I have no problem with the size. Peterson is an excellent fighter with unbelievable skills and he’s showed me what I can really do.
At the time of the stoppage, Peterson had outlanded Lipinets, 303-972 (31%) to 264-986 (27%). But the 35-year-old, former two-division titlist showed increasing wear and tear with each passing round, the culmination of 15 years as a pro.
In the first, Lipinets snapped Peterson’s head back with a right uppercut. Peterson responded by chopping away at Lipinets’ midsection.
Lipinets couldn’t get inside of Peterson’s jab in the second. Peterson, at 5-9, with a 72-inch reach, did a good job controlling the distance again in the third over the 5-7 Lipinets, who gave away five inches in reach.
They traded body shots in the fifth, although Lipinets’ blows were more effective. Peterson had the upper hand when the round ended one minute early. An upset Barry Hunter, Peterson’s trainer, complained when the round ended prematurely as it was Peterson coming on strong when the bell sounded. Referee Harvey Dock ordered the fighters back into the ring to officially finish the frame.
The see-saw action continued in the middle rounds. Peterson was bloody and swollen while Lipinets’ face wore signs of battle as well. With a minute remaining in the eighth, Lipinets changed the course of the fight with a crunching right to Peterson’s jaw.
Peterson was almost out on his feet, staggering around as he ate another right. He miraculously escaped the round, using experience—and a healthy dose of courage—to hear the bell.
Peterson regained control of his legs in between stanzas. They stood inches apart in the ninth, banging away to the head and body. The end occurred with seconds remaining in the 10th. A short left hook disconnected Peterson’s body from his senses. Lipinets followed up with a winging right, which sent Peterson reeling uncontrollably across the ring.
Lipinets closed in, unloading a series of power punches. When Peterson finally collapsed in the center of the ring, Hunter threw in the towel, ending the fight at 2:59 and, wisely, Peterson’s sterling career.
The dismayed crowd stood in silence as Peterson announced his retirement. He’s enjoyed a fine career and, on this night, gave the boxing world one last glimpse of his warrior heart.
Lipinets is in search of a world title fight at welterweight.
“You’ve seen what I did at 140-pounds and now what I can do here,” Lipinets said. “I made a big jump in competition from my last fight to this one. My new trainer Joe Goossen gets all the credit. We’ve had an excellent camp with perfect sparring that taught me a lot and got me ready for tonight.”
Jamontay Clark hands Vernon Brown his first setback
Cards read 96-93 from judges Larry Hazzard and Paul Wallace, and 95-94 from judge Dave Braslow.
At 5-foot 7, Brown gave up seven inches to the 6-foot-2 Jamontay Clark in this super welterweight battle between southpaws. Nevertheless, there were plenty of moments where he maneuvered Clark to the ropes and worked his way inside.
After losing the first two rounds, Brown (10-1-1, 7 KOs) found his range in the third, stunning Clark with a flush right hook upstairs. A buzzed Clark stumbled backward into the ropes. Referee Kenny Chevalier ruled that only the ropes kept him counting it as a knockdown.
“I've been down before and I've seen the worst of the worst,” Clark said afterward. “This was nothing. I just kept grinding.”
Brown had Clark in trouble again in the fourth, with another right hook. This time, the wobbly Clark was saved by the bell.
From then on, Clark used his superior reach to stay out of harm’s way. In close quarters, he would lean on Brown, attempting to smother his shots. That backfired in the seventh. A right hook to the chin briefly stunned Clark. Brown closed the round strong but couldn’t hurt Clark again.
Clark maintained a comfortable distance over the final three rounds. In the end, it was a matter of activity. Clark stayed busy throughout much of the fight, which translated into 162-of-547 (30%) total punches landed to Brown’s total output of 97-for-401 (24%).
“I got the win and now I'm going to sit down and see what's next for me,” Clark said. “I boxed a little bit better the last few rounds and used my height. I made him miss and made him over reach. That was the game plan.”
Anthony Peterson and Argenis Mendez Fight to a Split Draw
Both fighters had their moments but neither gained a clear edge over the other, culminating in a 10-round split draw.
Judge Larry Hazzard Jr. had it 96-94 for Peterson, John Gradowski had it for Mendez, 96-94 and judge Paul Wallace had an even 95-95 in this super lightweight bout.
Peterson fought well early. After moving for much of the first two rounds, he began sitting on his punches in the third, pelting Mendez with combinations to the head and body.
In the fourth, the two exchanged shots in the middle of the ring, but it was Peterson who was coming forward.
But Mendez (25-5-2, 12 KOs) began turning the fight’s tide in his favor in the fifth. The crafty native from the Dominican Republic jabbed Peterson toward the ropes and worked him over with combinations.
Peterson roared back in the seventh but the final three rounds were all Mendez. Peterson’s work rate sagged as he spent more time moving than fighting. Mendez was the aggressor, pinning the hometown Peterson against the ropes and landing quality shots.
It was the first draw of Peterson’s career.
“I can’t be that disappointed because I didn’t lose, but I was just happy to fight in front of my fans,” said Peterson, who was sporting a swollen left eye. “I’ve been out of the ring for a long time and I think I did okay, but if the judges saw a draw, they saw a draw. I’m not mad about it.
“Of course, I thought I won the fight. I boxed, and because I felt my timing wasn't quite there, I used my feet. Normally I'd be more aggressive and walk guys down. If I can stay active, you'll see the difference in my performances.
Naturally, Mendez thought he won.
“I didn’t think it was a draw,” Mendez said. “I know every round was close, but I think I won the fight. I don’t want to say it was easy but I think I won comfortably. He was running the whole fight and I was trying to throw counter punches and catch him.”
On the undercard, super middleweight prospect Lorenzo Simpson (3-0, 2 KOs) won a four-round unanimous decision over Jaime Meza, who was making his pro debut.
Super lightweight Adrian Benton won his pro debut with a four-round unanimous decision over Archie Weah (2-13). Middleweight Arturo Izquierdo (6-2, 2 KOs) won a sixth-round split decision over previously unbeaten Mark Duncan (3-1, 3 KOs). Welterweight Kareem Martin (12-2-1, 3 KOs) won a six-round decision over Joaquín Chávez (9-18-3, 2 KOS).
Aaron Coley (16-2-1, 7 KOs) got back in the win column with an eight-round middleweight split-decision over Brandon Quarles (21-5-1, 10 KOs). Super featherweight Cobia Breedy (13-0, 4 KOs) remained undefeated with an eight-round technical decision over Fernando Fuentes (14-8-1, 4 KOs), when Fuentes was unable to continue due to a cut caused by a headbutt.
For a closer look at Peterson vs Lipinets, check out our fight night page.