by Steve Kim
Mercito Gesta challenges WBA lightweight titlist Jorge Linares later tonight.
The HBO televised fight will serve as the co-featured attraction to the welterweight showdown between Lucas Matthysse and Tewa Kiram, who battle for the vacant WBA "regular" title.
Gesta is the decided underdog coming in and conventional wisdom says he wont be able to out-box the stylish Venezuelan.
So is the plan of attack to be aggressive as possible and bring the fight to Linares?
"That's our plan," said Gesta, last week at the Westside Boxing Club, where a media day was held for this event.
"We need to be smart and aggressive because I can not just go inside and be aggressive and all of a sudden have that counter just come in there, that punch. Linares is quick, he's fast. So I need to be there, go inside aggressive but I need to be smart."
When asked how he sees this fight going this weekend at the Forum in Inglewood, California, Gesta(31-1-2, 17 KO's) says - "I'm thinking about the knockout, I envision a knockout. I don't know what round it's going to be but I have more chances if I knock this guy out. I need to be aggressive but there's always going to be adaptation in the fight."
Freddie Roach, who has trained Gesta for this fight is stressing to his fighter the need to bring the fight to Linares make this into a fight. He says he will not hesitate to get on Gesta if things are going their way.
"I have to," said the noted trainer, earlier this week, "the thing is, I told him, 'We have to be aggressive in this fight. I think this guy (Linares) has a little quit in him. I've seen it before but you've got to pressure him to bring that out."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com