Earlier today news broke that Filipino veteran Mercito Gesta (32-3-3, 17) was out of his scheduled bout with unbeaten youngster Hector Tanajara (19-0, 5), with the Filipino sadly needing to pull out due to food poisoning.
The bout had been planned to take place on Friday as part of DAZN's return to boxing in the US, and was only cancelled on Thursday.
Sadly for DAZN this is the second hit to their schedule in recent days, following the cancelled of a planned WBC Flyweight title bout between Julio Cesar Martinez and McWilliams Arroyo.
Thankfully it "is" only food poisoning and isn't something more...on going, but it's still a massive shame to see this bout being cancelled so late in the day. Hopefully Gesta recovers quickly and he can get back in the ring sooner rather than later.
Yesterday it was announced that Filipino veteran Mercito Gesta (32-3-3, 17) would be returning to the ring on July 24th at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino to face off with unbeaten youngster Hector Tanajara (19-0, 5). The bout will be part of the first Golden Boy card since lockdown began in the US, and will be headlined by Vergil Ortiz Jr battling Samuel Vargas.
The 32 year Gesta was once tipped as a star but now finds his career hanging by a threat, with a 2 year gap since his last win. Whilst some of that has been doing to the ongoing situation he also failed to pick up a win last year. He began 2019 with an upset loss to Juan Antonio Rodriguez and then suffered a technical draw with Carlos Morales, in a bout that left many wanting a rematch.
Tanajara on the other hand is a 23 year tipped for big things. He's a very talents youngster on the way up and although he lacks power he is a real talent who had a break out in 2019 with 2 wins and has already picked up a win over Juan Carlos Burgos this year. On paper he's staying at the same level as his last bout, but will know that a win here pushes him one fight closer to a world title fight.
This is a nice looking fight fight, a must win for Gesta, and one that could help see a star, in Tanajara, being thrust into some major fights very soon.
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)
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