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While many fight fans are tuning in to the impending WBC welterweight showdown between comebacking Floyd Mayweather and defending champion “Vicious” Victor Ortiz this September 17th, 2011, many failed to notice that Filipino light welterweight prospect Mercito ‘No Mercy” Gesta (22-0-1, 12 KOs) will also be fighting on the same date, but in a different venue. The 23-year old southpaw from Mandaue City, Philippines will take on reigning WBC Latino light welterweight beltholder Manuel Perez (16-6-1, 4 KOs) of Hawaii, USA.

While there are no titles at stake here, Gesta’s co-trainer and manager Vince Parra told this writer that this is a significant match up for his ward. Gesta, who has been operating as a lightweight when he first gained name recognition, has been fighting as a light welter in his most recent fights. But for Parra, the upcoming Perez fight will determine if Gesta is indeed a solid fighter at 140 if he gets past Perez in a convincing fashion.

Vince Parra (left) doing mitts with Mercito Gesta (right).

Manuel Perez is a whole lot better than what his record shows,” Parra told this writer. “He has only lost to top prospects and has a draw with Brandon Rios.” Rios is the current WBA “regular” lightweight champion while Juan Manuel Marquez is the organization’s “Super” champion.

Mercito is very serious and very focused on this fight,” Parra continued. “He has sparred with the two Shane Mosleys, Jorge Linares, and Jose Benavidez.

Mercito is well-prepared for this fight, which is good. Perez is no joke. He will show up to win. If you are not prepared, he could upset you.

But it’s bad news for Perez and his come-forward style.”

Parra told this writer that Gesta is roaring for his upcoming bout. A win will potentially land him a big fight before this year ends. Earlier this year, Parra told this writer that a title shot for Gesta is possible. But with the way things are going with the Gesta camp, it is very likely that he will probably get a crack at a world title by the middle of next year. Asked whether Gesta might still fight for a world championship before 2012, Parra believes that it’s not likely to happen.

We could have had a shot at Miguel Vasquez but from a business stand point it wasn’t in our best interest. We plan on taking care of Sept 17th first and foremost.”

From what Bob Arum and Bruce Trampler are laying out, we will have our title shot come early 2012,” continued Parra.

With Gesta’s increasing popularity, as evidenced by the Filipino’s appearance in a baseball game festivities, this writer asked Parra how his ward is handling the fame.

The attention motivates him to work harder,” said Parra.

For boxing news and views that matter to Filipinos worldwide, Filipino Boxing Journal


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Kenneth P. Ragpala is an award-winning sports blogger who has been covering the sport of boxing since 2008. His works have appeared in local newspapers in his home city in Cagayan de Oro and in several online publications abroad. Ragpala has written for several boxing websites, namely Fight Hype, 8 Count News, and Bleacher Report.