Mercito "No Mercy" Gesta (31-1-2, 17 KOs) is looking very good in training camp, according to his new head trainer Freddie Roach.
Roach has been whipping Gesta into shape for the biggest opportunity of his pro career, when the Filipino boxer challenges Jorge "El Nino De Oro" Linares (43-3, 27 KOs) for the WBA lightweight title on Saturday, January 27 at the "Fabulous" Forum in Inglewood, California.
The fight will be part of an HBO's Boxing After Dark telecast beginning at 10:20 p.m. ET/PT.
Linares, 32-years-old and considered to be one of the top fighters in the world, will make his second trip to the 'Fabulous' Forum in a row to defend his belt.
He fought at the venue back in September when he won a twelve round split decision over Olympic gold medal winner Luke Campbell. A victory over Gesta will set him up for much bigger opportunities in the year.
Gesta has been trying to revamp his career since suffering his first career defeat back in 2012 at the hands of then IBF world champion Miguel Vazquez.
He won two fights afterwards, but then fought to a ten round draw with Carlos Molina in April of 2010.
After defeating Miguel Mendoza in October of 2015, he was in active until April of 2017. Gesta has won his last three bouts, including a knockout win over Martin Honorio in July.
Roach views the bout as a real tough outing, but feels his boxer has enough ability to come away with the victory.
"We're in a real tough fight. My guy [Mercito Gesta] is definitely getting ready for this fight. We're going over a lot of strategy. We started sparring [recently], and it went well. We still have a lot of time to work a little more. He's looking good so far. I feel we can win this fight. This is a good opportunity for us and we have to take advantage of it as much as we can," Roach said.