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Undefeated lightweight sensation Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta is currently enjoying some well-deserved vacation time here in the Philippines after capping an unbeaten four-fight campaign this year. However, 2012 seems to be an exciting year for the Mandaue City native, who now fights out of San Diego, California.

Talking to this writer after the Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista-Miguel Mendoza bout last Saturday, December 10th, Gesta said that he does not care who he fights, but it would be “swell” if he takes on a champion in his division. Vince Parra, Gesta’s manager and co-trainer, already told this writer that they are currently looking at their options and topping their list are WBO interim lightweight champion Ricky Burns (33-2, 9 KOs) and reigning WBC lightweight titlist Antonio de Marco.

Mercito Gesta shadowboxes while Antonio de Marco trains in the background.

Gesta confirmed that they are looking at both fighters but noted that he is more attuned to spend time with his family instead of thinking about his future bouts for the time being. Gesta, however, said he hopes it could be either Burns or De Marco.

Burns is a stylistic boxer who does not pack a punch, as evidenced by his record. But what he lacks in power, Burns makes up for his rabid determination, effective volume punching, and an iron chin. His most noted wins include victories over former world title contender and pure brawler Michael Katsidis and former world champion Roman Martinez of Puerto Rico. Burns is also the former WBO super featherweight beltholder. Both men are recognized hard-hitters in the sport.

De Marco, who is notably recognized as the last boxer to fight the late Edwin Valero in February last year, is currently enjoying an increase in popularity after beating lightweight prospect and fan favorite Jorge Linares last October 2011 in the undercard of the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson light heavyweight title match.

Gesta has a friendly relationship with De Marco, since they train in the same gym. Asked what he thought about the possibility of sharing the ring with a friend, Gesta said he will treat it like a business transaction.

“I like De Marco,” Gesta told this writer. “But if we have to fight, then it’s a fight.”

Parra said in a prior interview that they are currently working with Top Rank for a fight in February. Gesta is scheduled to leave the Philippines for the United States in January, after the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City.

Ricky Burns

Antonio de Marco

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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.