Last night in the US fight fan got a bit of a betting upset a former 2-time world title challenger Mercito Gesta (32-3-2, 17) was stopped by the determined and hungry Juan Antonio Rodriguez (30-7, 26) in 9 rounds.
Gesta, once touted as a big hope for the Philippines, put up a good effort at times and actually the better man, seemingly winning the first couple of rounds. Despite that he always seemed to eating the more meaningful shots from Rodriguez who seemed to have found a real desire to make a point. The relentlessness of Rodriguez began to show mid way through round 2 and through the following few rounds he began to really grind down the Filipino.
Gesta know he was in a real fight after 4 rounds, and dug in hard ton have a good round 5, but he put a lot in and failed to discourage the Mexican who seemed to come on even stronger in the second half. It was there that we saw him ground down and beat up Gesta, particularly in round 9, where the poor Filipino fighter was rocked from pillar to post, staying up right but taking a battering until the referee stepped in to save him.
Whilst the loss was disappointing there was more to it. Gesta has failed to make the original 135lb weight for the bout, requesting a change to a 138lb limit, he had looked disappointing and there are now real question mark about his future. He really has to question whether or not he wants he wants to even continue in this sport after his faltering preparation, and poor performance. Rodriguez was fantastic, and credit to him for his showing and taking advantage of the situation, but this was poor from Gesta.
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.
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