Earlier today we saw Venezuelan star Jorge Linares (44-3, 27) defending his WBA, Ring Magazine and WBC “Diamond” titles against Filipino challenger Mercito Gesta (31-2-2, 17).
The fight started surprisingly competitively with Gesta aggressively coming forward, using a lot of head movement and letting his hands go in a manner that seemed to make Linares somewhat nervous. The Venezeuelan always looked the more skilled but Gesta was applying pressure, managing to get through with some hooks up top and seemed to be making Linares work for the rounds. It was however Gesta having his durability, toughness and heart tested as he was forced to take shots to land his occasional blow.
After the decent start from Gesta we saw Linares turn up the gears and begin to show case his skills, hand-speed and combinations. It began to look like the fight many expected, but Gesta was doing enough to force Linares to remain switched on, which saw him landing some razor sharp straights and eye catching combinations.
In round 8 Gesta managed to open up a nick above Linares' right eye, and Freddie Roach, in Gesta's corner, would likely have began to see a door open for the upset. Instead it seemed to solidify Linares' who seemed to win round 9 with his smart pot shot-ting, though did have to come through a strong Gesta rally as the Filipino let his hands go in short but exciting bursts.
Gesta refused to back down and just take the loss and continued to press the action in round 10, which was one of Linares' worst due to a lack of work from the champion. The success from those two rounds saw Gesta putting himself in harms way in the final couple of rounds but resulted in him taking shots from the faster, smoother Linares, who was constantly being forced to work.
Although Gesta was out classed for the most part he did come to fight and forced Linares to fight back in a fight that seemed to fly by. Sadly for Gesta though he never looked capable of doing enough and came up well short on the cards, with scores of 118-110, twice, and 117-111 all in favour of Linares.
To his credit this was the best we'd seen of Gesta, and whilst he wasn't close to winning he really put in an effort, especially early on. For Linares this win sets up some potential super fights with Vasyl Lomachneko and Mikey Garcia, but he would be the under-dog against both.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.