After a dominating performance over veteran Ricardo “Pelon” Dominguez last November, Filipino lightweight sensation Mercito “No Mercy “Gesta (24-0-1, 12KOs) took a well deserve rest and traveled back to him birth city of Cebu, Philippines from his stateside headquarters of San Diego, CA. When he came back two and a half months later, the twenty-four year old did not return alone but with his father Anecito in tow.
For Mercito, it has made a difference not only for his state of mind but also for his team which is now compromised of his father but also co-manager and trainer Vince Parra, co-manager Joel Coombs, cut man Jun and Parra’s father “Bumpy”.
“It helps me a lot mentally because I have my dad as my inspiration and he helps and adds with our training,” Gesta said regarding his father’s role in the team. “He knows a lot about me so it is mixed between Vince, coach Bump and my dad. All the styles can combine and I think it is really good.”
As far as his father is concerned, he is just happy to be along his son, the boy that he began training in his chosen sport, Muay Thai, but quickly steered towards boxing because of the better opportunities in the sport.
“I am very happy to be here with him because I can advise him and also be his inspiration,” Anecito Gesta said as he watched Mercito warm up previous a training center. “I am very excited to see him fight because it will be the first time I see him fight in the United States. I think he is better now than before, he has advanced as a fighter.”
Gesta is scheduled to be in the opening bout of the World Junior Welterweight championship bout between Mexican ring legend Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Sergey Fedchenko PPV telecast when he takes on unknown and unheralded Colombian Oscar Cuero (15-7, 12KOs) in a ten round super lightweight bout. The appearance will be Gesta’s first time on a HBO broadcast and the implications are not lost on the quick fisted southpaw.
“People will see me fight and this is only the fourth time I fight for Top Rank and I know there is going to be more,” Gesta stated of his promotional outfit, Top Rank, who he signed with one year ago. “All I have to keep winning the fights.”
Known as an aggressive, fast and intelligent fighter in the ring, if there is one flaw in Mercito Gesta is the fact that he has not been matched up relatively soft is his career but in Vince Parra’s eyes, that is a circumstance that has been out of not only Mercito’s hands but his own, “A lot of people can say he hasn’t fought anybody but those who have followed us for a long time know that this kid has never wanted anything but the best people we could find but you are not going to find promoters willing to match their guy with an undefeated southpaw. That is the bottom-line. Top Rank has the best matchmakers in the world and they know what they got. They want to see him get a little more pumped up about it, they want to see him be what they think he can be and what we think he can be and that is the best out there and we’ll see April 14th.”
The difficult part, at least for Gesta, is to get excited about an opponent that he knew nothing about until a mere couple of weeks before their match up, “I just saw one video of him, it was on YouTube. He is ok. I think we got this guy. Right now are preparing for this guy, we didn’t know who it was until recently. I feel pretty confident. The guy is not that dangerous for us right now. If it were a big fight like a title, I would want to know who the opponent is so I can study. Right now we just accepted this fight and we are going to try to go win it.”
One big fight that Mercito’s name has been mentioned for is the headliner of Saturday night’s card, Juan Manuel Marquez. Marquez is scheduled for Cowboy Stadium in Dallas, Texas, some time in the summer and the Filipino fighter would like nothing better to be the man across the ring from the Mexico City native, ” it would mean a lot, it would be big because Marquez is a legend. That would be a big break for me. There is no fighter out there that wouldn’t accept that fight and now that I am one of the options to fight, it’s big. If that fight would happen, it would really boost my career up. A lot more people would know me and especially if I win that fight.”
Another name in the mix for the coveted Marquez match up is no other than the co-featured fighter of Saturday night, former lightweight champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios who will be facing interim WBA lightweight champ Richard Abril as a late replacement to his original dance partner, Yuriorkis Gamboa. For Parra, the obvious choice should be Mercito Gesta since as he sees it; the fast and furious fighter would have the better chance in dethroning the Mexican champ.
“If Brandon gets that fight, more power to him. He is a great fighter. If we get that fight, I think we would have a better chance of beating him than Brandon would, stylistically,” Parra said, choosing his words carefully. “Brandon is a great fighter but stylistically I think we match up a lot better with Juan Manuel Marquez. We’ll see, we need to take care of April 14th first, Oscar Cuero is in our way and we need to respect that. We can’t really look past this guy.”
Ironically, it wasn’t to long ago that Gesta and team was looking to make a fight with Rios himself. Once it was evident that Rios did not see Gesta as viable opponent, Mercito refrained from mentioning the Oxnard, CA, fighter but now their names are linked once again.
“We have always said from day one that we called out Brandon Rios, not out of disrespect, we call him out because we feel he is the best in our weight division and that is why we do this,” Parra said. “That is what Mercito has always wanted. We have nothing but the utmost respect for Robert Garcia and Brandon Rios and his achievements. We think he is a great fighter. Never the less we think he is as fighter that we can compete with and beat. I think they feel that we have been disrespectful in some way and I don’t think they genuinely like him, I don’t think Brandon genuinely likes him based on things he’s said. Mercito is the nicest guy you can meet.”
Recently, both Rios and Gesta found themselves under the same roof as part of a media public work out held at the Fortune Gym in Los Angeles. Needless to say, no words were exchanged between the two fighters
“They both stayed on their sides of the gym, there is no love lost. Mercito doesn’t really like him anymore, not that he ever knew him but the general feeling is the same both ways now,” Parra explained. “I don’t think Mercito cares for him much. We’ll stay on our side and they’ll stay on their side and if they meet one day, we’ll address it then. We are going to worry about Oscar Cuero, he needs to worry about Richard Abril and if we meet someday, I know Mercito would be happy with that. Mercito is at the point that he doesn’t really want to have anything to do with him on a friendly level.”
As far as Mercito, when the subject of one Brandon Rios is broached, he keeps it short and sweet, “for me to be honest I know the guy, he likes to talk. I just go there for the media; he is not my opponent so I don’t care about him. I only go there for one thing and that is the press and that is it.”