By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Undefeated Filipino southpaw Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (25-0-1, 13 KO’s) has started sparring with two young Mexican-American light welterweights in preparation for his showdown with American Ty Barnett (20-2-1, 13 KO’s) at the Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas on August 3 in a fight to be telecast by ESPN.
Gesta’s trainer and co-manager Vince Parra told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that “we are turning up the heat a little bit and we’ll be ready to go” even as the Top Rank fighter sets his sights on a world title shot.
Parra said he had watched Barnett "a little bit on television" and although he has been stopped twice he described Barnett as “a decent fighter who reminds me a little bit of Lamont Peterson” since they both come from the Washington DC area.
Barnett lost by a 3rd round knockout to undefeated Russian Andrey Klimov (10-0, 6 KO's) on May 14 of last year after being previously stopped in the 1st round by Juan Santiago on October 10, 2009.
He said Gesta is “looking forward to come out aggressively after Barnett made a statement that he would knock Mercito out. We hope he comes to fight. ”
Gesta is coming off an 8th round TKO of Oscar Cuero whom he dropped in rounds 7 and 8 last April 14 while Barnett is also fresh from an 8th round TKO of Robert DaLuz last May 12.
Parra said that Top Rank promoter Bob Arum had told him that it was not the right time to fight Juan Manuel Marquez which was a fight Gesta was hoping for even as the co-manager told us “its been hard to get Mercito opponents.”
However, he said there was a lot of talk about a possible fight against Miguel Vazquez and that they would be “ more than happy to make that fight” against the IBF lightweight champion from Mexico who has a record of 31-3 with 13 knockouts.
Parra said that they are not looking beyond Barnett because “he is a tough fighter in his own right and after this fight hopefully we can get a shot at Miguel Vazquez.”
Parra indicated that he would watch the unification title fight between WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire and IBF champion Jeffrey Mathebula at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California on May 7 along with Gesta and his dad, Anecito who helps train Mercito in the San Diego gym.