Mercito Gesta Will Face Franciso Lorenzo on July 9th

By Lem Satterfield

Southpaw Philippines native Mercito Gesta of San Diego, Calif., will pursue his fifth consecutive knockout as well as his 22nd win without a loss on July 9 opposite junior welterweight rival Franciso Lorenzo of Irvington, N.J., according to a report by Ryan Maquiñana of SportsNet.

Maquiñana was informed of the return of the 23-year-old Gesta (21-0-1, 11 knockouts) by Top Rank Promotions matchmaker Bruce Trampler.

The 39-year-old Lorenzo (36-10, 16 KOs) never has been stopped.

Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum is very high on Gesta, who is riding the crest of the waves established by Filipino countrymen such as eight-division king and WBO welterweight titlist Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) and WBC and WBO bantamweight titlist Nonito Donaire (26-1, 18 KOs).

"The Filipinos have seen him, and he's a terrific fighter. He fights like Manny Pacquiao, and he's a southpaw. You know, I'm not saying that he is Manny Pacquiao, obviously, but he fights like Manny Pacquiao," said Arum.

"It's not only Manny Pacquiao, but it's Nonito Donaire and Gesta, so Gesta is part of the rebirth that Manny has brought about as far as the Filipinos are concerned," said Arum. "So he's very, very popular and he's got a crowd-pleasing style. And he's beginning to be noticed there. He's living in San Diego, but I think that he's going to be a very important part of the Top Rank boxing program."

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