Earlier today news broke of a confirmed date for the IBF "interim" Welterweight title bout between Uzbek fighter Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (17-0, 9) [Қудратилло Абдуқаҳҳоровдан] and Kazakh born American based Russian Sergey Lipinets (16-1, 12) [Сергей Липинец].
ESPN report that the bout, which has been put together due to the injuries suffered in a car accident by Errol Spence Jr, will take place on May 16th, though it's yet to be decided whether it will be in Los Angeles or Las Vegas.
For Andukakhorov the bout will be his first at "world" level, and will be his toughest test to date. The unbeaten 26 year old is stepping up in class, but does come in to the bout on the back of wins over Keita Obara and Luis Collazo, and has genuinely earned a shot at a title following those wins, and other strong wins over Charles Manyuchi and Dmitry Mikhaylenko.
Lipinets on the other hand is looking to become a 2-weight champion, having previously been the IBF Light Welterweight champion. He's reeled off 3 wins since losing that title, back in 2018 to Mikey Garcia, and comes into this bout on the back of wins over Lamont Peterson and Jayar Inson.
The bout is supposed to be the headline bout on a PBC card.
According to, the often reliable, Olamsports Uzbek fighter Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (17-0, 9) [Қудратилло Абдуқаҳҳоровдан] will clash with Kazakh born American based Russian Sergey Lipinets (16-1, 12) [Сергей Липинец] for the IBF "interim" Welterweight title.
That perhaps isn't new news, it's been circulating for a few days now with the title being created until Errol Spence Jr recovers from his injuries suffered in a car accident last year.
What does appear to unique to the Olamsport story is that they have reported a date, a venue, and a card for the bout.
According to their report the bout is set to take place on February 22nd, in Las Vegas, at the MGM Grand...as one of the chief support bouts for the Heavyweight rematch between Deontay Wilder (42-0-1, 21) and Tyson Fury (29-0-1, 20).
The Olamsports report that they have been told by Abdukakhorov regarding the details of the bout, and given how accurate they usually are on these sorts of stories, we have no reason to doubt them. Also given that the card is only about 6 weeks away we expect this to confirmed very, very soon by Top Rank.
For Abdukakhorov this will be his first "world" title fight whilst Lipinets will be looking to become a 2-time world champion, after having also held the IBF Light Welterweight title, from November 2017 to April 2018.
(Image courtesy of Olamsports)
On March 24th we'll see Kazakh born Russian Sergey Lipinets (14-1, 10) take on Lamont Peterson (35-4-1, 17) in a battle of former world title holders.
Interestingly, given how far that bout is away, there are odds available in the UK for the bout, and the bookies have viewed it as a really hard to call bout.
The odds have opened with Lipinets as the slight betting favourite, with odds of 8/11 for him, whilst Peterson has been priced at 11/10 and the draw is 16/1.
At the moment there aren't many bookies taking bets on the bout, which is no surprise given how far away the bout is, but it is interesting to see the man born in Martuk as the favourite, especially given that he didn't look good last time out against Erick Bone and will be fighting at Welterweight for just the second time.
Yesterday saw a number of announcements from the PBC, with various bouts being announced. One of those bouts involved Kazakh born Russian Sergey Lipinets (14-1, 10), who has been very vocal about missing out on the WBSS (World Boxing Super Series).
Despite missing out on the WBSS Lipinet's career is set to be given a big contest on March 24th with the announcement yesterday being that he would be facing off with fellow former world champion Lamont Peterson (35-4-1, 17).
Lipinets had a short reign as the IBF Light Welterweight champion in 2017/2018, winning the title in November 2017 when he beat Akihiro Kondo before losing the belt in his first defense against Mikey Garcia. Since that title loss he has fought just once, winning a majority decision against Erick Bone.
Peterson on the other hand had a pretty long yet controversial reign as the IBF champion from December 2011, when he controversially beat Amir Khan, to 2015 when he was eventually stripped. During his reign he went on to lose two bouts above the limit, losing to both Lucas Matthysse and Danny Garcia. He would also go on to win the WBA "regular" Welterweight title in February 2017, and lose that in his first defense, being stopped by Errol Spence this past January.
At the age of 34 and with more than a year out of the ring Peterson is seen as being beyond his best, but this is clearly a must win for him if he wishes to be relevant. Lipinets also needs a win to get himself back involved in the title mix and as a result this should be a very compelling contest, with neither man really able to afford a loss.
In late October we reported that former Japanese Light Welterweight champion Hiroki Okada (16-0, 11) [岡田 博喜] would be back in action on December 19th in a bout againt Filipino fighter Jason Pagara (40-2-1, 25) for the WBO Asia Pacific Light Welterweight title. It now seems that Okada's future plans, beyond Pagara, are now also being set with the IBF ordering the unbeaten fighter from the Kadoebi Gym to begin negotiations with unbeaten Belorussian Ivan Baranchyk (17-0, 10).
Okada is ranked #7 by the IBF and Baranchyk is ranked #4, with the winner of their bout likely to become one of the leading contenders to fight for the title. They will have until December 6th to negotiate the contest, which is just under 2 weeks from the date of the Okada/Pagara bout, and may well see the IBF extend the negotiating period given the date of Okada's previously scheduled bout.
Baranchyk was a former amateur stand out who has looked devastating since turning professional in 2014. He began his career with back to back decisions before stopping 10 of 11 oppoenents, and genuinely blitzing foes with 6 opening round wins. In his last 4 bouts his power has been questioned, having gone the schedule in each of his last 4 bouts, but he is an aggressive and destructive fighter.
Okada on the other hand has been quietly going about things in Japan. He won his first 7 by stoppage before claiming the Japanese Light Welterweight title in 2014, with a decision win over Masayoshi Kotake. After defending the title 6 times he vacated it and began to move towards bigger bouts. This is a big step up for him,but has shown the skills to go a long way if he can just up his work rate and let his hands flow a bit more than he has in recent bouts, including competitive bouts with Cristiano Aoqui and Valentine Hosokawa.
The winner of the Baranchyk Vs Okada bout would, potentially face the winner of a bout between current champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10) and big name American Adrien Broner (33-3-0-1, 24).
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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