//, Mercito Gesta/Mercito Gesta Bandwagon Starts To Roll But He’s Not Trying To Be Pacquiao Clone

Mercito Gesta Bandwagon Starts To Roll But He’s Not Trying To Be Pacquiao Clone

Bob Arum and MercitoIt wasn’t who he beat. It was the smooth manner in which precocious, 23 year old Pinoy lightweight prospect Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta demolished Mexican veteran Jorge “El Tigre” Pimentel Saturday night at the Home Depot Center which was impressive.

CARSON, Calif. — Oh, sure, there a couple of rough spots like the now 22-0-1, 12 knockouts fighter from Cebu not moving his head enough. But, when he left his noggin in harm’s way, Gesta was intelligently doing so for a reason. It wasn’t a mistake, as co-manager/trainer Vince Parra pointed out, but a method to lure the taller and often backpedaling veteran into engaging within KO distance.

After referee Raul Caiz Jr. wisely stopped it in the third round on the Urbano Antillon-Bam Bam Rios undercard, Top Rank’s head carnival barker, Bob Arum, was dishing out the superlatives.

“I want this kid to fight for a title, maybe before year’s end,” a glowing Arum said in the ring after Gesta’s first bout under a new promotional contact. “I don’t want to be too ethnic but he’s the next (Manny) Pacquiao.”

Arum made similar remarks at the post fight press conference and Gesta just blushed at the effusive praise.

Frankly, besides being fighters, Filipinos and aggressive southpaws, Pinoy Idol Pacquiao and former Muay Thai style boxer Gesta could not be more different.

Getsa has nifty hand speed and some slick footwork that Pacquiao, at the same age, did not have. It’s only been in recent years that Pacman has been floating like a butterfly while always stinging like a bee.

It’s no stretch to state that, at a similar stage of pro ring development, Gesta is the more polished product. (Don’t forget that we’re talking the pre-Freddie Roach version of Pacquiao.)

Getsa said there’s no need to worry about his hat size expanding.

“I just take all those remarks as what they are, compliments from people who mean well, including Mr. Arum,” Gesta said as he relaxed back at the Holiday Inn in nearby Torrance after the victory.

“I’m not trying to be the next Manny, just the first Mercito,” Gesta said. “It’s like someone told me former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe used to say, “I didn’t say I’m the greatest, I just said I’m the latest.’

“I’ve got big goals in this sport and working with a world champion like Amir Khan (they sparred at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym recently with Khan prepping to fight Zab Judah) made me feel like I’m on schedule and progressing. But there is lots more work to be done.”

For his part, onetime pro and ex-Sugar Shane Mosley sparring partner Parra said there’s no rush to get Geta to the world title altar.

“No, not really,” the San Diegan whose father, ex-pro fighter “Bumpy” Parra assists in the Gesta corner. “At the same time, we sometimes have to pull the reins on Mercito because he’s getting better and better. But we know Top Rank will keep us busy, they’re talking about a fight six weeks from now and maybe even being on the Antonio Margarito-Miguel Cotto rematch card in early December. You don’t hurry a kid Mercito’s age, you let his performance set the schedule.”

One thing sagacious boxing types noticed and gave Gesta high marks for was his compact, economical style.

“I did that on purpose,” Gesta said. “Maybe I could blow the guy out in the first round but I wanted to show some different looks, including the uppercuts which hurt him and I wanted to confuse him with my movement. I didn’t waste any punches, I was picking my shots.”

If Gesta keeps rolling, there will be many people picking their seats…on the “No Mercy” bandwagon.

Article by: Michael Marley

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