GETTING READY

By Glendale G. Rosal |December 19,2017 - 10:22 PM

Cebuano Mercito Gesta gearing up for world title fight against Jorge Linares next month

As his world title showdown nears, Cebuano boxing sensation Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta is leaving no stone unturned in his preparation for his huge fight slated next month.

Gesta faces defending World Boxing Association (WBA) world lightweight champion Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares of Venezuela in the double header main event of an HBO and Golden Boy Boxing-promoted fight card at the LA Forum in Los Angeles, California, USA on Jan. 27, 2018.

Aside from the WBA world title, Linares, who has 43 wins (27 knockouts) against three defeats, will also put his WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine lightweight titles at stake against the 30-year-old Mercito Gesta, a native of San Remigio town, northern Cebu.

The Cebuano southpaw has won his last three fights in the United States. He holds a record of 31 victories with 17 knockouts, one defeat and two draws. His most recent bout was against Martin Honorio last July in Inglewood, California, where he won by knockout.

According to Gesta’s father and trainer, Anecito Gesta, his son has completed more than half of the needed training for the fight. This will be the second world title shot for the younger Gesta.

Aside from letting his son train under hall of fame trainer Freddie Roach at the WildCard Gym in Los Angeles, California, Anecito has also consulted several boxing experts to formulate a perfect gameplan for Mercito against the heavily favored Linares, who has held the WBA world lightweight title since 2016 and has successfully defended it three times.

“I already approached several boxing experts here in the United States to ask them about my son’s fight. And each one of them said that Mercito has to be the aggressor, the pressure fighter in this fight in order for him to win,” Anecito said.

But Anecito is also reminding his son to fight smart against Linares, who was once Mercito’s sparring partner.

“I told my son that he must not force himself to go for the knockout. As long as he can hit and collect points, it’s okay for us,” Anecito said. “Linares is a very difficult opponent. Linares can be tough, but my son is tougher and stronger. I believe that when my son will figure out to dismantle Linares’ defense then that’s the time that we will gain our advantage.”

Gesta has come a long way after briefly hanging his gloves following a loss in his first world title shot in 2012 against Miguel Vasquez for the IBF world lightweight title.

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