The long wait is over. Undefeated Filipino lightweight sensation Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (21-0-1, 11 KOs) is slated to face off with former world title challenger Francisco Lorenzo (36-10, 10 KOs) of the Dominican Republic. While there is no official announcement from Top Rank, Gesta’s promotional outfit, this writer’s sources confirms that Lorenzo is indeed Gesta’s opponent come July 9th, 2011 at the Home Depot Center, Carson, California.
Gesta has been training at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California in preparation for this fight. Word is that he has been sparring with WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan. Khan is also in training mode for his unification bout with IBF light welter king Zab Judah on July 23, 2011.
Lorenzo will be Gesta’s first assignment since signing with Top Rank earlier this year. Bob Arum is impressed with the Filipino’s career so far and believes that Gesta will be a future star of the sport.
But looking at Lorenzo’s record, one does need to be an analyst to realize what a victory could mean for the young Filipino. Lorenzo, who has been campaigning at light welterweight, will go south the scales to stop Gesta’s meteoric rise.Lorenzo has twice attempted to win a world title but fell short on both chances. He was decisioned by Humberto Soto in their WBC super featherweight title bout back in 2008. In 2009, Lorenzo lost on points to South Africa’s Mlungisi Dlamini for the WBF world lightweight title. Dlamini now also holds the IBF version of the title.
Aside from the names mentioned, Lorenzo has shared the ring with a string of impressive opponents, including former world champions Jorge Linares, Erik Morales, Cristobal Cruz, and Roman Martinez. Lorenzo lost to all fighters stated above but has never been stopped ever in his career.
Momentum wise, Gesta will be able to steamroll his way past Lorenzo, considering the Dominican lost six of his last 10 fights and he is nearing 40 years old. But Lorenzo might be able to give Gesta a tough time, with that strong chin and above average boxing skills (Lorenzo won 26 of his 36 bouts by decision).
On paper, this looks like an easy win for the Filipino lightweight. But with Lorenzo’s experience, ring guile, and the quality of his opponents, Gesta needs to bring it all come fight night.