By Ryan Maquiñana
After fighting through a cut over his left eyebrow to pull out a ten-round unanimous decision against a game Manuel Perez, unbeaten lightweight Mercito Gesta will take a week off to heal before resuming training for a Nov. 11 date at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
“He was a really tough opponent, and I respect him,” the 23-year-old Gesta (23-0-1, 12 KOs), from Mandaue City, Philippines, said of Denver’s Perez (16-7-1, 4 KOs). “I expected him to come forward all night, so I wasn’t surprised by the headbutt that caused the cut, but I was surprised that I hit him with some clean shots and he didn’t go down.
“I don’t need stitches for the cut, and I want to thank my cutman Stephen Lunas for doing a good job with it…If I could do it over again I wish I could’ve done better and thrown more punches, but I learned a lot and I just have to keep working harder in the gym when I go back next week.”
As BoxingScene’s Ryan Songalia initially reported when the Perez fight came to fruition, it appears that Top Rank will match the San Diego-based southpaw with Ricardo Dominguez (34-7-2, 21 KOs) of Tuscon, Ariz., on Nov. 11, the night before Manny Pacquiao’s third bout with Juan Manuel Marquez.
Dominguez has gone 8-2 with five knockouts in his last 10; the only two losses are from unsuccessful world title challenges where he took both Humberto Soto and Miguel Vazquez the distance.
“Right now the only name they brought up so far is Dominguez, so it could be him if I had to guess, but I should know more about everything by next week,” manager and trainer Vince Parra said. “Basically whoever Bob [Arum] and Bruce [Trampler] want for Mercito next is fine.”
Ryan Maquiñana is the boxing correspondent at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. He’s a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at www.maqdown.com or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.