Mikey Garcia looking for history against Sergey Lipinets

Mikey Garcia is looking for a title in a fourth different division in his fight against Sergey Lipinets. Photo provided by Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Mikey Garcia, one of boxing's pound-for-pound best, is in the midst of creating a potential Hall of Fame legacy. He has already won world titles in three weight classes -- featherweight, junior lightweight and lightweight -- and is about to fight for a junior welterweight title in a bout he is heavily favored to win. And then he has designs on a welterweight title in the not-too-distant future.

Though junior welterweight world titleholder Sergey Lipinets is not nearly as well known as Garcia, and is far less experienced against quality opposition, he has no plans to go easily into the night. He aims to hang on to his belt with an upset victory and begin carving out his own legacy when he and Garcia meet Saturday (Showtime, 10:15 p.m. ET/PT) at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio. The fight was originally scheduled for Feb. 10 but was postponed when Lipinets suffered a minor hand injury.

Lipinets, underdog or not, has faith in himself.

"I believe I'm going to win, Mikey believes he's going to win, and it will all unveil in the ring," he said through a translator. "One thing I can guarantee -- it's going to be a great fight. Every fight I've had has been against a tough opponent who has helped get me to this point. Now I'm ready to fight the best, and Mikey Garcia is truly that.

"I don't care if people think that Mikey is going to beat me, if Mikey is going to completely wipe me out."

Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs), 28, a Kazakhstan native fighting out of Beverly Hills, California, was a mandatory challenger for one of undisputed champion Terence Crawford's belts. But after Crawford unified the titles in August, he vacated to move up to welterweight. That left Lipinets to fight Japan's Akihiro Kondo for a vacant belt on Nov. 4. Lipinets won by decision in a tough fight and wasted no time with a soft-touch defense. Instead, he will make his first defense against Garcia, who still owns a lightweight title but will be fighting as a junior welterweight for the second fight in a row after easily outpointing former titleholder Adrien Broner last July.

"Winning a fourth title was the big draw for me in making this fight happen. To make history like that is something that really motivates me. I know that I have a lot more to accomplish in the sport, but this is a great start." Mikey Garcia

Lipinets, a former kickboxer, said he had no qualms about facing an opponent of Garcia's caliber. It is the kind of fight he said he has craved.

"I had to work very hard to make the transition from champion kickboxer to a champion boxer," he said. "I did everything I had to do, moving from gym to gym and sparring [with] everyone. I always aimed for the best and wanted to be the best at what I do."

He's about to go up against an opponent who already is one of the best at what he does. Garcia has been unstoppable thus far. After returning to the ring in July 2016 after a 2½-year layoff caused by a legal battle with his former promoter over his contract, Garcia showed no signs of rust whatsoever. He blew out former featherweight titlist Elio Rojas in five one-sided rounds and then destroyed Dejan Zlaticanin in the third round in January 2017 to win a lightweight title with a knockout of the year contender. Then came the rout of Broner and now a shot at Lipinets.

If Garcia is victorious, he would become only the third fighter in modern history to win world titles at 126, 130, 135 and 140 pounds. The other two? Future Hall of Famers Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.

"Winning a fourth title was the big draw for me in making this fight happen," Garcia said. "To make history like that is something that really motivates me. I know that I have a lot more to accomplish in the sport, but this is a great start."

While Lipinets respects what Garcia has done in his career, his only concern is beating him.

"Mikey's records and accomplishments don't matter to me," Lipinets said. "He's got two hands, two feet and one head. He's just another person. He's just another fighter I'm fighting. I prepared for little different things to fight Mikey, but once I get in the ring, it's going to be Mikey and me and you'll see how it's going to go down."

Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), 30, of Moreno Valley, California, could have pursued a lightweight title unification fight with Jorge Linares or Robert Easter Jr., or looked to fight pound-for-pound king and junior lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko, who plans to move up to lightweight this spring. But Garcia opted to go for a title in another weight class.

"Winning a fourth title was the big draw for me in making this fight happen. To make history like that is something that really motivates me. I know that I have a lot more to accomplish in the sport, but this is a great start." Mikey Garcia

"This opportunity to win a title in a fourth division was too great to pass on," he said. "It's hard to secure fights like this. I want to take on these big opportunities because I want to challenge myself. This is another chance to prove to all the fans what kind of fighter I am."

Garcia is faster and more skilled, but he's also smaller -- though few think that will make much of a difference. Few would be surprised if Garcia won by knockout.

"If the opportunity is there, I'm definitely going to go for the knockout because that's what we're here to do," Garcia said. "I'm here to make the fight as easy as possible. I'm fighting a bigger man, naturally, so that's something I have to get adjusted to, but I still feel that my ability and my skills are enough to compete at the highest level with these men, and that's why I'm comfortable fighting at 140."

Said Ringstar Sports promoter Richard Schaefer: "This was an easy fight to make because you have two fighters who want to measure themselves against the best. This is a fight that got done quickly. Neither fighter had to be convinced. Both guys feel they can win and are going into the fight with an attitude of an undefeated fighter. Neither one of these guys have any thought that they might lose. They are 100 percent convinced that they are going to walk out of there with their hand raised."

Win or lose, Garcia is leaving the door open to return to lightweight after Saturday if he can make a big fight.

"I still feel that 135 might be a better fit for me because I'm a little bit of a naturally bigger, stronger man at 135," he said. "But at 140 I feel just as good as far as my speed, my footwork and my reflexes. It would be very nice to win a fourth division title. That would obviously be a big accomplishment in my career and it would be the second time I won the title here in the state of Texas."

In 2013, Garcia knocked out Roman "Rocky" Martinez in the eighth round to win a junior lightweight title in Corpus Christi, Texas. Garcia had moved up in weight from featherweight to challenge for Martinez's title. Now, 10 pounds, heavier, he is gunning for Lipinets' belt.

"Some critics aren't giving Lipinets much credit because he's only had 13 fights, but that tells you how good of a fighter he is," Garcia said. "It took me [31] fights to be a world champion. He's a high-caliber fighter who brings great danger. At the end of the day, I believe I'm the better boxer, and that will help me get the win."

Lipinets, of course, does not agree.

"I'm ready to go. I'm not going to let anything get in the way," Lipinets said. "I'll come out victorious Saturday night. It doesn't matter if I'm an underdog or not. I'm ready to prove everybody wrong. I really want to show everybody that I'm the one that they should be looking at, that I'm the champion."