Former IBF Jr. Welterweight world champion Sergey Lipinets was held to a twelve round majority draw in his fight against undefeated, but also unknown Custio Clayton in a very competitive Welterweight bout on Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. In what was an elimination bout to determine a mandatory challenger in the International Boxing Federation’ (IBF) Welterweight ratings, the unbeaten Clayton, who also represented Canada in the 2012 Olympics, showed surprising poise in being able to use lateral movement and a consistent jab to attempt to out box Lipinets from distance. This disrupted the former world champion’s ability to get into a consistent offensive rhythm as Clayton remained an elusive target throughout.
As the fight progressed, Lipinets best moments came during periodic occasions where he was able get Clayton against the ropes and land offense to the body. While Lipinets seemed to get the better of the action in those instances, he really had no answer to nullify Clayton’s jab or movement for extended periods in this bout. The question became whether Clayton’s pure Boxing strategy where his jab served as the focal point of his offense that set up short combinations as well as disrupted Lipinets’ ability to get his punches off consistently would get the nod from the three official judges over Lipinets’ aggression and periodic, but effective body attack. At the end of the the tactical twelve round bout, two if three official judges turned in identical even scores making this fight a majority draw. Official scores were: 114-114 (On two scorecards), and 115-113 in favor of Clayton resulting in the majority draw. Sergey Lipinets advances to 16-1-1, with 12 Knockouts. Custio Clayton advances to 18-0-1, with 12 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
In a competitive Jr. Lightweight bout, undefeated contender Xavier Martinez scored a hard-fought twelve round unanimous decision over Claudio Marrero. Many of the early rounds were dictated by Martinez’ hand speed and combination punching, but in round eight Marrero nearly ended the fight by dropping Martinez with a flush right hook to the jaw. A visibly hurt Martinez was able to get up only to be dropped for a second time with a follow up barrage from Marrero highlighted by another right hook to the head. Despite the appearance that he was on the brink of his first professional loss, Martinez was able to survive the round and was able to regain his position in the fight by outworking Marrero in rounds nine through twelve to earn a convincing, but hard fought unanimous decision victory. Official scores were 115-111, and 114-112 (On two scorecards) in favor of Martinez. Xavier Martinez advances to 16-0, with 11 Knockouts. Claudio Marrero falls to 24-5, with 17 Knockouts.
In the opening bout of the evening in the Jr. Welterweight division, rising prospect Subriel Matias scored a seventh round stoppage over previously unbeaten Malik Hawkins. The early rounds saw Hawkins using a lot of lateral movement looking to use his jab to keep Matias at distance. As the fight went on however, Matias’ pressure eventually led to him getting the better of several exchanges on the inside landing hooks and overhands to the head as well as landing offense to Hawkins’ body. In round six, Matias was credited with a knockdown when a left hook that landed behind Hawkins’ head sent him down to the canvas. Although replays indicated that the punch was indeed behind the head and thus an illegal blow, the call of a knockdown stood. This proved to be academic however, as Hawkins’ was prevented from continuing at the beginning of round seven by ringside physicians, who felt he had taken too much punishment. Official time of the stoppage was :01 of round seven. Subriel Matias advances to 16-1, with 16 Knockouts. Malik Hawkins falls to 18-1, with 11 Knockouts.
This card, which was promoted by the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) group of promoters produced some very competitive bouts that an argument could be made could see a rematch or two come out of this event. The most logical of those potential return encounters in this observer’s eyes would be a second bout between Sergey Lipinets and Custio Clayton. Logical not only because of what amounted to “Inconclusive “ outcome, not only because of what turned out to be a competitive bout between a former world champion and a largely unknown, but unbeaten contender, but more specifically what would be a second attempt to determine a mandatory challenger for undefeated current unified IBF/WBC Welterweight world champion Errol Spence as far as the IBF is concerned.
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