20-year-old undefeated blue-chip prospect, lightweight Ernesto "Tito" Mercado (7-0, 7 KOs), who’s won all seven of his professional bouts by knockout and was a 2020 Olympic Trials Silver Medalist, wants to put every fighter in the lightweight division on notice.
Born and raised in Pomona, California, Tito is one of the most dynamic power punchers in the red-hot lightweight division. His message to the lightweight division is simple, he wants all the smoke.
"I’m letting it be known that I’m coming for everyone’s head in the lightweight division,” said “Tito” Mercado, who stands 5′ 10″, and has power in both hands. “Devin Haney, Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia, Shakur Stevenson, are all great fighters, but stylistically, I believe in my heart that they can’t match up with me. My power in the pros is on another level, and that’s what separates me from all of them. I had just as many amateur fights as all of them, if not more, so my ring IQ is there as well.”
Four lightweights, in addition to Garcia who just moved up to super lightweight, made ESPN's top 25 Fighters Under 25-years-old list, making the division the most prominent in boxing.
"If I grouped up with a bunch of famous fighters and made friends with them, I am sure I would be on the list, but that's not my style," said Mercado with a laugh. "I know that boxing is mostly political, and it's my job to deliver amazing highlight-reel performances, time and time again, to get the recognition of the media. I must say I have a chip on my shoulder and I’m going to prove to the world that I’m the best rising star in the sport. I will be on the list soon, and everyone will recognize.”
Top prospect, Keyshawn Davis (5-0, 4 KOs), who has a common opponent with Mercado in Jose Zaragoza, is getting a lot of attention coming out of the Olympics. Mercado gives his thoughts on that matchup and Davis as a fighter.
“Keyshawn Davis is considered one of the top prospects in boxing, but he’s 23,” said Tito, who at age 20 is wrecking everyone he’s faced as a pro. “At my age, I’m doing more than him and knocked out Zaragoza faster then he did. I’ve only gone to the second round in three fights and won every fight I have had by knockout. I have yet to enter the third round which says a lot. I’m a humble person by nature, but If I don’t speak my mind, then I will go unnoticed. Everyone loves a knockout artist, and that’s exactly what I am, a true finisher.”
"I am not trying to be friends with other fighters, I don't want to know these people” concluded Mercado. “I want to be feared. Because of that, I suppose I won't make these lists until I'm on television, as I'm not trying to socialize with fighters I'm going to take out. I am trying to be the best fighter in the world. The generation I was born in has a lot of soft fighters, who want to call all these people in their weight class 'brother', instead of saying 'I want to fight you!' So, it will take longer for me to get credit because a lot of people don't understand me in this era. I’m a throwback fighter.”