Sergey Lipinets said Levan Ghvamichava wouldn’t be able to hold up against his power. Go ahead and add “soothsayer” to Lipinets’ résumé—along with “undefeated 140-pound prospect.”
Midway through the fifth round Tuesday night, Lipinets took aim at Ghvamichava's midsection, landing a perfect left hook to the liver that dropped Ghvamichava to one knee. And it was on that knee that Ghvamichava stayed through the count of 10, giving Lipinets his ninth victory in as many fights, with seven of those wins coming via knockout.
“I was measuring him up right from the beginning,” Sergey Lipinets said following the fight at Robinson Rancheria Resort & Casino in Nice, California. “The Wolf [Ghvamichava ] was dipping real low and reacting to my body punches. I started going up and down, mixing them up. That exposed him for the right hand. Once I caught him with a right hand clean and The Wolf stepped back, all I had to do was put together a couple shots to the head and switch to the liver, and that was it."
While Lipinets was confident he had things firmly in control the whole way, this was actually a fight that was even on two scorecards through four rounds, with Lipinets ahead by a round on the third. The fight was that close because of an effective counterpunching game from Levan Ghvamichava (16-2-1, 12 KOs).
Lipinets clearly wanted to get in on the taller Ghvamichava and dig to the body, but for every big overhand right or rib-pounding uppercut that Lipinets got in, Ghvamichava made him pay with a series of crisp counters.
“At first I was trying to get [Ghvamichava’s] timing,” Lipinets said. “Then I saw he was real heavy, a real big guy. I used speed to get inside and go under his punches, get close to him.”
Though he never was stymied from pressing the attack, Lipinets was forced to respect Ghvamichava’s head-snapping jab.
By throwing those counters, though, the slower Ghvamichava paid the price, as Lipinets came in at will, often flinging right hooks over Ghvamichava’s guard.
“I know that when anyone fights me, they’ll look at the tapes and get ready for the right hand,” Lipinets said. “Basically, I used the right hand to get [Ghvamichava] aware, then went with the left hook upstairs and downstairs. The right hand was a decoy, but when the guy started ducking to the left, he kind of forgot about the right. That’s what did it. The right hand is very sneaky.”
That aggression paid dividends midway through the fifth round. Lipinets doubled the jab into Ghvamichava’s guard, then came underneath with a right uppercut. Then he backed Ghvamichava up to the ropes with another double jab, came over the top again with that right hook that snaked over Ghvamichava’s left hand and found the ear.
As Ghvamichava tried to roll with the punch and go low, he left his right side open. Lipinets cocked his left all the way to the hip and unleashed the savage hook that got under Ghvamichava's elbow and crumpled him.
So what's next for the 26-year-old native of Kazakhstan, a former kickboxing champion who has now boxed just 55 rounds in nine pro fights?
“It’s up to my team more or less,” Lipinets said. “I don’t believe I should be fighting less meaningful fights than I did tonight. I belong on television, and I showed so. One step at a time.
"Whatever opportunity is reasonable for us, that's the fight we’ll take.”
For the complete recap of Lipinets vs Ghvamichava, make sure to visit our fight page.
Watts, Derevyanchenko remain unbeaten
Kevin Watts (11-0, 4 KOs) was in firm control of his 140-pound fight against Michael Chudecki (11-1-1,3 KOs) for four rounds, then poured it on in the fifth to notch the stoppage with 59 seconds remaining in the frame. Watts scored a knockown with a left, then came back with a pair of uppercuts and another big left hook that cut Chudecki before referee Edward Collantes stepped in and waved it off.
Sergiy Derevyanchenko (8-0, 6 KOs) would have shut out journeyman Mike Guy (8-2-1, 4 KOs) if he didn’t stop him at the tail end of the eight round instead. Derevyanchenko was well on his way to an easy decision in the 168-pound contest when he upped the ante with an overhand right that put Guy down, and followed it with a left to the body that dropped Guy a second time at 2:24 of the final round.