By Chris Robinson
Budding lightweight prospect Mercito ‘No Mercy’ Gesta saw his name thrust into the headlines earlier this week when a rumor leaked that the Mandaue City, Philippines-born fighter was being considered as a possible opponent for lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez this coming July at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas.
While certainly an interesting proposition, the talk of such a fight was placed on the backburner when it was later revealed that Gesta would next be seeing action on the April 14th undercard portion of the HBO-televised scrap between former champions Brandon Rios and Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Gesta’s opponent is yet-to-be determined and in hearing him speak you could tell that he is still coming down a bit from the high of envisioning a Marquez encounter as he now eyes a less-prolific undercard bout in Vegas in less than two months’ time.
“They put me on that card,” Gesta said of his slot on the Rios-Gamboa show. “There’s nothing I can do. I just need to fight. I want to fight on my own card but it’s a big fight too. Maybe after that fight there’s a big fight coming. Top Rank, they planned something, and hopefully it’s going to be a title fight.”
Before speaking on the big fight for which he is pining for, Gesta was asked to take a look at the Rios-Gamboa scrap in hopes of getting his analysis of the bout.
It’s the type of fight that has several circles buzzing as the all-action Rios, the former WBA lightweight champion, will look to test the nimble and daunting Gamboa, who is moving up two weight classes for the fight, unlike anyone else has thus far.
“Actually, it’s a good match I think,” said Gesta, giving his thoughts. “Rios, he’s tough, he hits hard. Gamboa, I know he moved up in weight and I don’t know if he can handle Rios’s power, but his speed, it’s obvious he’s faster than Rios. I think it’s a good fight and we’ll see what’s going to happen in that fight.”
Gesta, who last month returned from a vacation back home to the Philippines, most recently saw action on November 11th when he dropped Sinaloa, Mexico’s Ricardo Dominguez in the third round and cruised on to a unanimous decision victory after ten heats.
While Dominguez doesn’t stand out as a dangerous foe, it’s worth pointing out that he is a very capable pug who has twice fought for a portion of the lightweight belt, with his two most recent losses before Gesta being points defeats to IBF champion Miguel Vazquez and then-WBC titleholder Humberto Soto.
Asked if he felt that he was being overlooked because of the less-than-sterling name recognition of some of his recent foes, Gesta seemed to agree.
“Dominguez, he fought title fights,” said Gesta. “He’s a tough guy and I think I did good in that fight and stayed focused. I don’t know, maybe people that know him know that I did good, but the people that don’t even know him think ‘Who’s that guy?’ Right now I just want to prove to myself, I really want to fight the best. But right now I just need to concentrate until I hit the big one.”
It’s almost as if you can hear Gesta chomping at the bit when speaking to him, as it’s obvious how deep his desires to prove his worth as a fighter run.
The aforementioned Marquez opportunity was something that caught him by surprise and also seemed to enlighten him in some ways.
“I was surprised, I couldn’t believe it, but at the same time, I was really happy,” said a reflective Gesta. “But I try not to be really happy or excited because what if the fight doesn’t happen? Right now, if that fight happens, man I would really like that. I really want that.”
Marquez is coming off of a heartbreaking majority-decision loss to Gesta’s countryman Manny Pacquiao this past November, a fight that took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas one night after Gesta’s bout with Dominguez. In that fight Marquez boxed beautifully, controlling the pace of the fight in several rounds while landing enough telling blows to sway several insiders into believing that he should have gotten the nod.
Gesta was vague when giving his opinion on how to defeat a fighter with Marquez’s attributes but he believes he has something up his sleeve if he ever meets the 38-year old champion.
“Manny had a hard time when they fought, but you know what? I have a plan if that happens,” stated Gesta. “We have a plan for that one. He’s a good one but if that happens, I think I could handle it. I saw some of his techniques and if we fight I think it’s perfect. I think it’s a once-in-a-lifetime shot.”
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