A clash of heads opened a nasty cut on the forehead of Sergey Lipinets in the sixth round and Akihiro Kondo followed up with some punishing left hooks, but it wasn’t enough to win the vacant IBF super lightweight title.
Lipinets stood strong and overcame adversity to win a 12-round unanimous on the Deontay Wilder-Bermane Stiverne undercard Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, to win his first world title.
The judges scored it 118-110 and 117-111 twice for Lipinets (13-0, 10 KO’s), a 28-year-old Kazakhstan native based in Beverly Hills, California. FightNights.com had it 116-112 for Lipinets
Kondo (29-7-1, 16 KO’s), 32, of Japan, was a tough customer. He walked through everything Lipinets threw at him, and exemplified good boxing skills.
Lipinets bloodied Kondo’s nose with a short left hook in the third round and followed it up with a crisp right uppercut. Kondo was having trouble finding his range for the first couple of rounds but buzzed Lipinets in the fifth round with a sharp right hand to the forehead.
Kondo continued to press the action as the blood continued to leak from the forehead of Lipinets’, but he appeared to fade in the late rounds.
Kondo had a second wind in the 12th and backed up Lipinets with a series of lefts and rights, but the champion slipped out of harm’s way and cruised to the finish.
Lipinets won the IBF 140-pound belt that Terence Crawford relinquished shortly after becoming the undisputed champion with a third-round knockout of Julius Indongo Aug. 19 in Lincoln, Nebraska.