By Ryan Maquiñana
After a subpar outing in his last fight against Manuel Perez two months ago, unbeaten lightweight Mercito Gesta (24-0-1, 12 KOs) answered questions about his viability as a contender with a dominant unanimous decision victory over Ricardo Dominguez (34-8-2, 21 KOs) tonight at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Following the win, Gesta and his trainer/manager Vince Parra spoke to BoxingScene about tonight’s performance and where they would like to go from here.
GESTA ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF HIS COUNTER RIGHT HOOK:
“Every time he would go in with his jab, it was slow, and I could see it. Being a lefty, I could throw the right hook over the top and I kept connecting.”
GESTA ON THE KNOCKDOWN IN THE THIRD ROUND OFF A STRAIGHT COUNTER:
“With the knockdown, I was able to time him. I knew he was a tough guy and that he wasn’t hurt too bad when he got up, but I’m happy with my performance.”
GESTA ON HAVING DOMINGUEZ HURT IN THE EIGHTH ROUND:
“In the eighth, I was trying to finish it, because that was our plan, but give him credit. He’s a really tough guy and he wouldn’t go down.”
GESTA ON COMPARING HIS MINDSET IN HIS LAST FIGHT WITH TONIGHT:
“For this fight, I looked at it differently. I watched my last fight, and I kind of took it easy. I didn’t need to be showboating like that anymore. I was more focused tonight. I respect Dominguez, but I was trying to finish him. He was tough.”
GESTA ON WHETHER HE THINKS HE ANSWERED ANY DOUBTS ABOUT HIS ABILITY AFTER THE PEREZ FIGHT:
“I think so. People were thinking I wasn’t for real, or that I’m not that good. But I think I showed what I can do, and hopefully they will think differently now.”
GESTA ON WHAT’S NEXT FOR HIM:
“After this win, I’m going to watch the Manny fight tomorrow. Then I’m going to go on a quick vacation in the Philippines to see my family. When I come back, I’d like to fight for the title. Until then, I’m going to keep learning in the gym.”
PARRA ON GESTA’S OVERALL PERFORMANCE:
“I thought his jab was working really well, but I feel he could’ve done more. But overall, we felt like he dominated out there. He knocked him down a couple times. I don’t think the second one was, but this is the type of fight that gets him now one step closer.
“He was actually down on himself after the fight because he didn’t knock him out, but he dominated a former world title contender. He went from prospect to valid contender tonight.”
PARRA ON THEIR PLAN TO STOP DOMINGUEZ:
“Everybody wants a knockout, and even though Mercito wasn’t able to do that, but he put on a boxing clinic and a power punching clinic. I told him he’s a world-class fighter, and he looked a lot better than the last fight [against Perez]. He’s happy now, he’s going to go home and rest, and he’s earned a little vacation.”
Ryan Maquiñana is the boxing correspondent at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America, and Ring Magazine’s Ratings Advisory Panel. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, check out his blog at www.maqdown.com or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.