By Ryan Maquiñana
Former world title challenger Mercito Gesta has been dropped by Top Rank, according to his former manager and trainer, Vince Parra.
“I got the note from Top Rank after his fight with Olusegun [Ajose] fell through,” Parra said. “Our contract ended in April, but I still got him the Olusegun fight. His father [Anecito] wanted to take over as far as training and managing him after that, so I stepped aside. But then he got hurt in the first sparring session in July, and I guess Top Rank didn’t want to wait anymore.”
Ajose ended up losing on points to Hank Lundy instead, and the Top Rank brass opted to part ways with Gesta (26-1-1, 14 KOs), a promising 25-year-old Filipino southpaw from San Diego who failed to impress in a wide decision loss to lightweight titlist Miguel Vazquez last December.
“We had a good run together. In four years and 11 fights, he got a Top Rank contract, a big bonus, and a title shot,” Parra said. “He got to a place a lot of guys don’t get to without having to fight a top 20 guy to get there.”
Despite Parra’s relationship with Gesta falling apart in the ring, he harbors no ill will toward his former charge.
“I wish Mercito the best,” said Parra, who is currently training junior welterweight prospect and current Miguel Cotto sparring partner Maurice Hooker. “I’m still here for him whenever he needs me, but I hope he learned this is a hard business. He’s still a young man, and now he knows what it’s like to almost make it to the top, so hopefully he can channel that into coming back stronger.”
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.