The one two fights Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta misplaced in 35 skilled bouts got here when a world title was on the road. Thursday the San Diego-based Filipino begins his quest for a 3rd shot when he takes on Roberto “Tito” Manzanarez in a 10-round light-weight match on the Fantasy Springs Resort On line casino in Indio, California.
In his most up-to-date bout, the 30-year-old Gesta (31-2-2, 17 KOs) misplaced a unanimous 12-round resolution to then 135-pound titleholder Jorge Linares on Jan. 27, 2018.
“They swapped a lot of clean punches, but it was Linares who was landing the harder shots,” reported ESPN’s Dan Rafael from ringside.
Gesta’s different title struggle defeat got here in opposition to Miguel Vazquez in August 2012, additionally by way of unanimous resolution. Vazquez has subsequently misplaced his title and moved as much as welterweight.
Manzanarez (36-1, 29 KOs) is not any simple comeback opponent. He’s youthful than Gesta by seven years, taller by 5 inches and his attain is three inches longer.
“We’ve been checking out video on my opponent,” Gesta stated. “Manzanarez really uses his height. He knows how to back up and he knows how to use his reach when he comes to attack. He’s going to be a difficult opponent for me, but we’re prepared for this. We studied him, and we have a plan for this fight.”
One benefit Gesta has is that he is fought higher opposition. Apart from going the gap with Linares and Vazquez, he got here off the ground to win a unanimous resolution over Gilberto Gonzalez, who was on an eight-bout profitable streak going into their April 2017 match.
Gesta turned professional in 2003 with out advantage of any newbie bouts. He tallied 10 wins and a draw within the Philippines earlier than relocating to america in 2006.
Though the 23-year-old Manzanarez was born in Phoenix, Arizona, he moved to Los Mochis, Mexico, when he was 12 years previous. He does not know the precise quantity however stated he had round 100 newbie fights earlier than turning professional in September 2010 on the age of 15.
Though he has a 78 p.c knockout ratio, Manzanarez shouldn’t be a slugger. He is a counterpuncher who makes good use of his top, attain and fast ft. Typically, nonetheless, he’s too tentative and might be outworked.
“Robert’s very relaxed in the ring. That’s OK, but sometimes you’ve got to be a little bit aggressive,” stated his coach, Jose Benavidez. “I have to pressure him to give me some more explosive combinations, to take the initiative.”
Manzanarez has been coaching for roughly three months for the Gesta struggle, first in his household’s health club in Los Mochis, then on the Metropolis Boxing Membership in Las Vegas.
“I’ve seen Mercito Gesta fight before,” Manzanarez stated. “He’s a fast fighter, but I think I can beat him. I’ve been training really hard for this fight and I’m confident. It’s going to be a good fight.”
Followers may be in for a deal with within the co-feature, when featherweights Manny “Chato” Robles III and Edgar “Kid Neza” Valerio meet in a battle of undefeated prospects.
Like most prospects, Robles (15-Zero, 7 KOs) and Valerio (13-Zero, eight KOs) have been combating restricted opposition, which makes this match a big step up. It’ll even be the primary scheduled 10-rounder for each boxers.
The 24-year-old Robles, from Lake Elsinore, California, was initially skilled by his father, Manny Roble Jr., however is presently working with Rudy Hernandez at Legendz Gymnasium in Norwalk, California.
“I started working with Rudy just to get a different look,” Robles stated. “My dad is always going to be there. He’s always going to be my coach.”
Though the Valerio struggle is simply his second working with Hernandez, Robles is happy with the outcomes.
“Training with Rudy has kind of changed my style,” Robles stated. “I’ve actually improved on combating on the within, in order that’s been nice, and I am choosing my photographs, turning my punches over, simply having extra energy in my photographs.
“This can be a large alternative for me, my first 10-round struggle and I will be showcasing my skills on ESPN. That is going to be cool. It is an important struggle of my life, that is for positive.”
Underneath his authentic administration, Valerio had problem getting fights and did not struggle in any respect in 2015, however that modified when Joel De La Hoya grew to become his supervisor and Golden Boy his promoter. He had 5 fights in 2016 and three in 2017. The Robles match will likely be his second in 2018.
Valerio, 23, was born in Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, México, however was raised in Los Angeles. In his most up-to-date bout, he scored a depraved first-round one-punch knockout of Giovani Carlo on the Belasco Theater in Los Angles, the venue for eight of his fights.
“I consider Manny Robles is an excellent fighter, some of the gifted upcoming younger gladiators,” Valerio said. “This can be a troublesome struggle; that is the fact of boxing. You may’t be like, ‘Oh my God, I am going through one other undefeated fighter.’ We’re taking this chance, grabbing it with each arms. We’ll prevail. We’ll conquer, devour, and reveal our talents and present what boxing’s all about.”