The stage is now set for Mercito Gesta’s world-title fight against reigning lightweight champion Jorge Linares of Valenzuela.
Gesta easily made weight on Friday (Saturday, Manila time) for the 12-round battle set in Inglewood, Calif., tipping the scales at 134.8 pounds.
Linares came in at 135 even.
Their scheduled bout on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time), the co-main event of the world welterweight title clash between Tewa Kiram and Lucas Matthysse, is for the World Boxing Association and Ring magazine championships.
“Gesta is a tough fighter. He’s a quick southpaw who is dangerous,” Linares said in an article posted on BoxingNews.com.
It will mark the second time that Gesta challenges for a world title.
He failed in his first attempt, bowing to Miguel Vazquez of Mexico in 2012, the first loss of his career. Since then, he won 5 of his next 6 bouts, with the other result a draw against American Carlos Molina in 2015.
“This is my second shot at a title, and I’ll make the most of it with a knockout victory,” Gesta said in the same Boxing News article.
Gesta, born in Cebu but is now based in the US, is no stranger to Linares. He was a former sparring partner of the Venezuelan boxer, and he is counting on that familiarity to give him at least a slight advantage come fight time.
Gesta carries a professional record of 31 wins, a loss and 2 draws, while Linares has a 43-3 win-loss record.
Another Filipino, “Ruthless” Romero Duno, will also see action in the undercard against Mexican Yardley Armenta.–
ABS-CBN North America News Bureau
Updated January 28, 2018
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