SAN Diego based Filipino boxer Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta, has been painstakingly climbing back up the ladder the last five years — beating six quality opponents along the way — to get another chance to fight for a world championship belt.
“I know firsthand how long it takes to get a shot at a world championship and I will not allow this opportunity to pass me by,” the 30-year old Gesta recently said in reference to his fight against three-division world champion Jorge Linares, 32, who won 43 of his 46 fights; 27 of them by knockouts.
“I know it will be a tough fight. I’m a challenger, an underdog. But I love that feeling. It makes me hungrier, train harder and box smarter. I’ve worked with Jorge (Linares) but I know it’s just a spar. But I did well. Still, I know his style and power. With the help of Coach Freddie, we’ll have the right strategy. I am hungry for this title. I’ll do anything to get that title. I tell you, I will give a good show in that fight,” Gesta told the media during a press conference on Tuesday at the Malbec Argentinian Cuisine at Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica.
The Linares-Gesta fight is a second main event to the expected 12-round brawl between Argentinian Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse (38-4, 35 KOs) and undefeated Thai superstar Tewa Kiram (38-0, 28 KOs) for the World Boxing Association welterweight championship.
The two championship battles will happen on January 27, 2018 at the Forum in Inglewood, California and will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:20 p.m ET/PT.
Gesta had his first chance to fight for a world champion
hip title on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao versus Juan Manuel Marquez IV on December 2012. He lost the fight for the International Boxing Federation lightweight title to Miguel Vazquez via unanimous decision.
This time though, Gesta said he is confident of beating a good fighter such as Linares because — not only that he believes that he has skills, speed, and power — but he also has a better coaching crew behind him.
Aside from that, Roach’s stable uses quality boxers for sparring sessions.
For his part, Roach said Gesta is a “better puncher” than Linares.
“We’ll KO him along the way,” Roach predicted.
Gesta knocked out Mexican Martin Honorio in the 8th round of their fight at the Forum in Inglewood, California last July.