MANILA, Philippines – Unbeaten Filipino lightweight Mercito "No Mercy" Gesta's ninth-round technical knockout of American Ty Barnett may have earned him a shot at a world championship.
PhilBoxing's Ronnie Nathanielsz reported that Gesta is set to challenge Mexican champion Miguel Vazquez later this year. Vazquez holds the International Boxing Federation light weight title.
"I want him (Gesta) to fight Miguel Vazquez as soon as possible," Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum told Nathanielsz.
"I talked to (Gesta's manager) Vince Parra and they are going to get a nutritionist to make sure he can do 135-pounds, and if they can, I will make that fight in October or November," Arum added.
Barnett had promised to "expose" Gesta in the days leading up to their fight, but instead got knocked out in the ninth round as "No Mercy" improved his record to 26 wins with no loss and one draw.
Vazquez, with 31 wins and three losses, will be Gesta’s toughest foe so far, with Parra calling him the “most difficult, awkward guy” at the lightweight division.
"Vazquez) is long, he's lanky but he doesn't do anything special. But what he does, he does very well," Parra said in an interview with Nathanielsz. "He keeps you off balance and uses his reach."
"But we feel confident Mercito can get past that and with some fine tuning and making sure that his nutrition is right and he's nice and strong," he said. "We feel confident that he can beat Vazquez either by decision or stoppage."
Parra said they may have to make some changes to Gesta’s diet, admitting that the Filipino boxer has not made the 135-pound weight limit officially in a couple of years.
"He's grown up since then but we can go out and make some changes in his diet and make sure that he's going to be at 100% at 135," Parra said. "We know we can make the weight but we want to make sure he is going to make it without a problem."