By Dennis "dSource" Guillermo
Tired of getting locked out of the apartment after his training sessions at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, lightweight Mercito "No Mercy" Gesta (25-0-1, 13 KOs) rolled the dice and made his exodus to San Diego with then trainer Carl Penalosa.
Gesta was part of a contingent of young Filipino prospects in 2006 which included the once promising Bernabe Concepcion that was brought to the US by Michael Koncz and MP Promotions. The motive, at least at the time, was to develop future Filipino champions to succeed boxing icon Manny Pacquiao. A promise that has yet been fulfilled.
Gesta simply didn't see himself and a successful future in that scene, so he set forth in paving his own road to prominence, which so far, has been more successful than his forgotten counterparts.
On August 3, Gesta will be featured on ESPN Friday Night Fights, his biggest fight to date, against a skilled and dangerous opponent in Ty Barnett (20-2-1, 13 KOs). The fight is yet another step closer to the elusive title shot he has been coveting and asking for in the last couple of years. But instead of letting the frustrations set in, Gesta has used the added time to ensure his readiness when the time does come. He's ready. And even the bright lights of a nationally televised fight aren't enough to shake him.
"I don't really get nervous. I've been on HBO fight cards despite not being the headliner, but all I'm worried about is my preparation for that fight (Barnett)," Gesta told me in an interview. For his preparations, Gesta has been working hard with his trainers Vince Parra and father Anecito, who is going on his second fight training his son since moving to San Diego.
"We have a lot more to learn and work on, but I am happy in the progress Mercito has made. We have been developing more power in his jab, and continuing to improve his stamina," Anecito said.
The path Gesta has taken, may be a longer one than what other young Filipino aspirants have chosen. But as the saying goes, "easy come, easy go"; With title fights against the likes of Miguel Vasquez in the horizon, Gesta is here to stay, and isn't going anywhere any time soon.