Later today we'll see Teiken promoted Venezuelan star Jorge Linares (43-3, 27) defending his WBA, Ring Magazine and WBC “Diamond” titles as he battles once beaten Filipino foe Mercito Gesta (31-1-2, 17). Yesterday the two fighters took part in their weigh in for the contest, and both figters made weight.
The champion was bang on the limit of 135lbs and looked in really good shape, as he always does. Although his focus, work ethic, and heart has been questioned by some, notably by former trainer Freddie Roach, he looked very focused and determined at the weigh in, and was looking down on Gesta, who was several inches shorter than the Venezuelan.
Gesta was under the limit at 134.8lbs, but looked like a man who has trained hard, is determined to make the most of his chance and will have had it drilled into him that he has a chance here. He will know that this could be his final shot at a title, and he is entering the bout as a huge under-dog, with next to no one giving him a chance to over-come the silky smooth Linares. But Roach is in his corner and seems to feel he has the mental edge over Linares, and Linares' trainer Ismael Salas.
The bout will be an interesting one and could potentially make, or break, Linares' hopes of having big dream fighters later in the year with Vasyl Lomachenko and Mikey Garcia.
(Hogan Photos / Golden Boy Promotions)
Earlier this month we reported that Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-4-2, 24) would be facing the the once beaten Daquan Arnett (16-1, 9) on January 27th. Sadly that bout was cancelled today, as Kamegai suffered a reported shoulder injury, reinjuring the shoulder he damaged in his 2017 bout against Miguel Cotto.
Although it's currently unclear how serious the injury is, it has caused the Arnett bout to be cancelled and could see Kamegai outof the ring for a further 2 to 3 months, meaning he could potentially return on the same card as stablemate Ryota Murata (13-1, 10) [村田 諒太] which is pencilled in for April.
Sadly the news is bad for fans of Kamegai, and whilst the show will still go on, and still promises a lot, it is still a loss and means fans miss out one of the sports most fan friendly fighters in the sport.
Despite the injuryt to Kamegai the card will still feature a Teiken fighter, with Jorge Linares (43-3, 27) defending his WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring magazine titles against once beaten Filipino Mercito Gesta (31-1-2, 17), in one of the shows two main event bouts.
(Image courtesy of Boxmob.jp)
On January 27th we'll see WBC Diamond, WBA and Ring magazine Lightweight champion Jorge Linares (43-3, 27) defending his titles against once beaten Filipino Mercito Gesta (31-1-2, 17). On paper the bout looks really interesting, but the reality is that very, very few are giving the Filipino any sort of a chance here.
At the moment Linares is best priced a 1/25 betting favourite, with some book makers pricing the Venezuelan at 1/33, 1/41, 1/50 and even the almost laughable 1/100. No one would argue with pricing the 3-weight champion as the favourite, especially given his ability, and experience, but at those prices almost no one will be putting money on the champion.
Gesta on the other hand is best priced at 15/1, with everyone pricing him at least 9/1 to score the upset and claim a world title in his second shot at a title. For those who believe that Gesta can get it all together it's a tempting price on a fighter who has always had a lot of potential, despite never making the most of it.
At the moment the draw is available at 35/1, with many book makers pricing it at 33/1
Given that the fight is more than a week away we won't go into the other markets, yet, but these odds do suggest a bout that the book makers have already decided which man they are firmly behind.
On January 27th fight fans around the world will tune in to a world title double header from the US. The bouts on that card will see Teerachai Kratingdaenggym (38-0, 28) [ถิรชัย กระทิงแดงยิม] battle the big punching Argentinian Lucas Martin Matthysse (38-4-0-1, 35) for the WBA Welterweight title, and will also see WBA and Ring magazine Lightweight champion Jorge Linares (43-3, 27) defending his title against once beaten Filipino Mercito Gesta (31-1-2, 17).
It's now been announced that there will be yet more Asian interest on the show with two Asian's now on the supporting card.
One of those will be Linares' Teiken stablemate Yoshihiro Kamegai (27-4-2, 24), who will face off with the once beaten Daquan Arnett (16-1, 9) in a very interesting match up at 154lbs. The other is heavy handed Filipino Romero Duno (15-1, 13), who looks to go 3-0 in the US as he takes on Yardley Armenta Cruz (22-9, 12). Kamegai and Duno are very different types of fighters but both are very fun and both should be worth tuning into here on a very promising card to end the month.
Yesterday may have been a rather cold one in Japan but that wouldn't be an excuse for a world class fighter to stay in bed, and instead Teiken duo title Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-1-2, 19) [山中慎介] and Jorge Linares (43-3, 27) used the day to kick off their latest training camp.
The two world class fighters both enjoyed the start of the camp and it was clear that they are driving each other on, as they have done in the past, and both will be looking to get in to top shape before their next bouts.
For Linares that next bout has all been sorted, and he will face Filipino challenger Mercito Gesta (31-1-2, 17) om January 27th in Inglewood, California. The bout will see the Venezuelan defending his WBA Lightweight title for the 3rd time, and build on wins over Brits Anthony Crolle and Luke Campbell, both of who he beat in 2017.
As for Yamanaka we don't know when he will return, though Q1 2018 is likely, but we do know that he will be facing off with the controversial Luis Nery (25-0, 19). Nery is the WBC Bantamweight title, having taken the title from Yamanaka back in August, though did fail a drugs test in the lead up to that fight, and it's clear that Yamanaka is seeking revenge. Althoiugh there is no set date the camps of the two fighters are said to be pushing to get the fight sorted shortly, and it is looking likely to take place in Japan.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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