By Chris Robinson

San Diego, Calif.– On Wednesday afternoon, unbeaten lightweight contender Mercito Gesta could be found taking a one-day break from training ahead of his April 14th appearance on the Brandon Rios-Yuriorkis Gamboa undercard attraction. Gesta faces an opponent to be named in one of the evening’s chief support bouts at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and could be in line for a summer showdown with Mexico City star Juan Manuel Marquez if successful.

Sitting alongside his trainer and co-manager Vince Parra and his father Anecito outside of a Starbucks in the city of Spring Valley, Gesta engaged in a roundtable-style interview with his team, addressing several topics relating to his career and the sport of boxing.

I was curious what the Mandaue City, Philippines native had to think of the May 5th bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Miguel Cotto, easily one of the year’s biggest attractions.

Mayweather was said to be a 5-1 betting favorite heading into the fight but Gesta feels that Cotto, the reigning WBA junior middleweight champion, will definitely pose a threat.

“I think it’s a great fight,” Gesta stated. “Cotto, he has power. He can pressure Mayweather, but then Mayweather, he’s a smart guy too. He’s fast, quick. I don’t know if he’s just going to try to win the fight [by decision] or score points, but I think it’s a good one.”

Gesta’s countryman Manny Pacquiao was the last man to defeat Cotto, as he dropped the Puerto Rican bruiser in rounds three and four before polishing him off for a 12th round TKO a little over two years ago.

The victory will go down as one of Pacquiao’s more impressive feats yet Gesta admits he never saw it coming.

“First I thought that Cotto was too big for Manny,” said Gesta, reflecting back to the November 2009 encounter. “I thought whether if Manny could handle his power. I was surprised when Manny just came on, tried to connect his punches. I just couldn’t believe that it happened, he overpowered Cotto. I didn’t expect that it was going to happen.”

The Mayweather-Cotto press tour kicked off this week with stops in Puerto Rico and New York, and Floyd Jr., while respectful of Cotto, took his share of barbs at Pacquiao during his time on the dais.

From accusing the General Santos City native of cheating to further questioning his intellect in regards to a possible purse-split between the two if they were to ever fight, Mayweather hasn’t been shy when it comes towards taking his pokes at Pacquiao.

A bemused Gesta couldn’t comprehend Mayweather’s verbal attacks yet doesn’t see the 35-year old Mayweather changing up anytime soon.

“I don’t know why he says that,” said Gesta. “Mayweather just talks too much. That’s how he is. But if you’re that kind of person, no matter what, you’re not going to change.”

And while a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight will always be fancied by the media, each man has business of their own to handle at the moment.

Pacquiao will next be seeing action on June 9th against undefeated Timothy Bradley and it’s a fight that Gesta doesn’t have to ponder too long when searching for a possible outcome.

“Bradley’s fast but I don’t know about his power. I still think Manny will get that fight. I think the power. They’re both fast but I think Manny has more power than this guy,” stated Gesta.


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