Even with a change in date and then opponent, former world champion Sergey Lipinets remains supremely confident in his training camp and overall preparations as he prepares to take on unbeaten Custio Clayton for the Interim IBF Welterweight Title live on SHOWTIME this Saturday, October 24 (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event.
“We never missed a beat in preparation, even with the opponent change,” said Lipinets. “My fight with Kudratillo Abdukakhorov was on and off for so long that I already had an idea that he was going to be forced to back out, so I wasn’t shocked. I don’t really care, though. Whoever I have to fight I’m ready to fight, so I didn’t consider backing out of fighting for even one second.”
Lipinets credits his trainer, the renowned Joe Goossen, for helping his fighter mentally through the changes, in addition to the physical training they have undertook heading into the fight.
“Having Joe Goossen is like having a psychiatrist as well as a trainer,” said Lipinets. “He’s been extremely helpful about how to approach all of this. Joe helped me stay calm and understand that something good can always come from a bad or difficult situation, and because of that, I never lost focus.”
Clayton is a Canadian Olympian with an unblemished pro resume heading into this showdown. While Lipinets notes that there are differences in the fighting styles between Abdukakhorov and Clayton, none of it changes his intent on October 24.
“I know that Clayton has a great amateur background,” said Lipinets. “I’ve checked out his style, and the main difference is that Abdukakhorov is more active and Clayton is more accurate. Abdukakhorov is also a little more aggressive and Clayton is more patient.
“I don’t think one is tougher or easier than the other. I think that anyone fighting at this level is a difficult opponent. Abdukakhorov moves around more and can be more awkward with the different styles he uses. Both are very tough guys, but I’m ready for Clayton and focused only on him at this point.”
Despite his sole focus on Clayton, Lipinets knows that this fight brings a big opportunity to make a loud proclamation to the rest of the stacked welterweight division with a big performance to capture the interim IBF title.
“I’m prepared to make one statement – I belong here,” said Lipinets. “I want to fight the best. I want to make my imprint on this sport and build my legacy. I’ve had to do it the hard way, but I’m not complaining. I fought for my first championship in just my 13th pro fight. I believe that I belong right there at the top of this sport. People need to start mentioning my name with the top guys and after this fight they’ll have to. You can’t look past me anymore.”