Recently joining the Top Rank roster is Filipino lightweight sensation Mercito â€œNo Mercyâ€ Gesta. Unbeaten in 21 outings, Gesta has been making splashes in the shadows of compatriots Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire.
Golden Boy Promotions already expressed interest in the 23-year old southpaw from Mandaue City, Philippines when Top Rank swooped in and took Gesta into its fray.
Vince Parra, Gestaâ€™s co-trainer and manager, said in an interview that GBP already had their eyes on his ward but Top Rank offered a more substantial offer. â€œI just felt like Bob showed us a lot more respect than Golden Boy. He knows what we want and heâ€™s going to give Mercito the right opportunities,â€ Parra said.
With Gesta joining Top Rank, the young Filipino pugilist will definitely enjoy a certain level of exposure that will certainly catapult him to the top tier of his division and earn him some degree of recognition, especially among the Filipino boxing fans.
At this point, Gesta is still a blip on the sportâ€™s radar. According to BoxRec.com, Gesta is ranked at the 30th spot in the lightweight category, light years away from WBA lightweight champion Brandon â€œBam Bamâ€ Rios, who is perched at 4th place and whom Gesta challenged last year.
Rios already told Gesta to elevate himself and win a world title before Rios will entertain the thought of exchanging leathers with the young Cebuano.
There are a lot of solid names that stands between Gesta and Rios, but with Top Rank, it is very likely that the Filipino will get a shot at the brash and cocky titleholder in the very near future.
But for now, Gesta has to prove his worth. And to do that, he needs to take on and win against some of the good and very plausible lightweight contenders first. And he will have his first shot on July 2011 against a yet to be named opponent.
Who should be Gestaâ€™s next opponent? It is still unclear as to who but an announcement will come soon enough. For the meantime, here are some of the available names who might do battle with the Filipino lightweight in July.
Anthony Peterson (30-1, 20 KOs, ranked #28) â€“Petersonâ€™s lone loss came from Rios, whom Gesta is chasing. A fight with Peterson will definitely up Gestaâ€™s stock should the Filipino win. That said, Peterson is no easy prey. This American lightweight has fought and stopped former IBF lightweight and IBA light welterweight champion Javier Jauregui. Peterson has no scheduled match and is very much available if tapped to fight Gesta.
Henry Lundy (20-1-1, 10 KOs, ranked #24) â€“ the reigning NABF lightweight champion, Lundy may also present to be a good opponent for Gesta, given that Lundy also parades a good record and has beaten a common Rios opponent in Omri Lowther. The Philadelphia native may not pack power in his punches, but his boxing skills will be of a serious challenge to Gesta. Like Peterson, Lundy has no scheduled bout for the moment.
Shariff Bogere (20-0, 12 KOs, ranked #21) â€“ the current WBO NABO lightweight titleholder, Bogere is also a very good matchup for the young Gesta. The Ugandan fighter by way of Miami, Florida is undefeated and will also provide the Filipino a good fight in terms of pitting skills against skills.
Daniel Estrada (25-2-1, 19 KOs, ranked #50) â€“ while Estrada is ranked way below Gesta, this power-punching Mexican is no walk in the park. Having won regional lightweight titles in the Continental Americas, Estrada can be a good gauging fight to see if Gesta can take on heavy-handed lightweights.