Gesta moving closer to world title shot

By Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Apr 12 2012 08:58 PM | Updated as of Apr 13 2012 04:58 AM

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Undefeated Filipino boxing prospect Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta will kick off a night of boxing at the Mandalay Bay Events Center this Saturday with a 10-round lightweight battle against Oscar Cuero.

The 24-year-old Gesta (24 wins, 12 knockouts) is the only Filipino boxer on the undercard of the Brandon Rios-Richard Abril fight in Las Vegas. The night’s main event is actually in Mexico City, with Juan Manuel Marquez taking on Sergey Fedchenko.

“Maganda ‘yung training camp ko ngayon, ‘di lang dahil sa nag-push hard ako, kundi nandito rin ‘yung tatay ko na nagt-training,” Gesta said.

The Cebu native maintains that he is not focusing on the pressure that comes with opening the fight card.

“Kailangan ko lang gawin, lagi kong inilalagay sa isip ko na mag-focus lagi sa fight, sa training,” Gesta said.

Gesta’s opponent, Cuera, was not in attendance at the final press conference, but the Filipino fighter is confident that his speed and power will prevail against the Colombian boxer.

“Napapalit-palitan ang kalaban ko,” Gesta said, explaining that his original opponent did not sign the fight contract. “Pero kahit na paiba-iba, ready naman ako dahil sa training ko.”

According to promoter Top Rank, Gesta is one of the most promising and most watched young boxers among its roster.

“Gesta is a terrific fighter, I think he is knocking on the title’s door,” said Top Rank president Todd DuBoef. “He comes from the great heritage of the Philippines.”

Top Rank said that if Gesta wins this fight on Saturday, a bigger fight will be in store for the him later in the year.

Boxing Scene writer Rick Reeno expects that Gesta will get a title shot soon.

“Gesta is an aggressive fighter and he is always looking to fight. He likes to come forward, and he certainly has a shot in the lightweight division of getting a world title,” Reeno said.

“A lot of the lightweights are moving up, and it leaves a door wide open for him,” he added.