Linares vs. Gesta Preview

By Robert Ecksel on January 27, 2018
Linares vs. Gesta Preview
“There is a talk about Lomachenko and Mikey Garcia but right now my focus is Gesta.”

WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares (43-3, 27 KOs) defends his title against rugged Mercito Gesta (31-1-2, 17 KOs)…

Saturday night at The Forum in Inglewood, California, in a fight televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark, WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares (43-3, 27 KOs), “El Nino De Oro” from Tokyo, Japan, by way of Barinas, Venezuela, defends his title against Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (31-1-2, 17 KOs), the rugged southpaw from San Diego, California, by way of Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines.

“Thank you for this opportunity, Mercito Gesta,” said Linares. “I’m ready. I’m here to give a good fight. I trained in Japan, and I trained here in the States. I’m not thinking about any other fight right now. Gesta is a tough fighter. He’s a quick southpaw who is dangerous. It’s very important to be victorious this Saturday. Bigger and better things will come with a victory this Saturday.”

Since suffering the second of two back-to-back stoppages to Antonio DeMarco and Sergio Thompson in 2011 and 2012, Linares has gone undefeated in the last five and half years. He is a brilliant boxer-puncher, the ultimate ring general, whose brawling is behind him and good riddance. His refined technique and ring IQ enable him to do things other fighters cannot.

Saturday’s fight will be Gesta’s second shot at a world title. The first was a lopsided decision loss to IBF lightweight Miguel Vasquez in 2012. Since that defeat Gesta has gone undefeated at 5-1.

“Mercito Gesta is a good fast boxer with a great record that can take a punch,” Linares told Fight News, “a boxer that has earned what he wants. Now things change. He is going up against an experienced fighter.”

They don’t get any more experienced than Linares, as Gesta is soon to find out.

“Jorge wants to face the best and so do I,” said Gesta. “I’m ready. This is my second shot at a title. I’m hungry and this Saturday I will show why I’ll be the next world champion.”

“This is a big challenge, a challenge in which there is a possibility of bigger things in the future,” Linares said. “I need to show what I’m about.”

He’s about being the best of the best.

Refusing to look ahead, Linares added, “A win here there are many great potential fights. There is a talk about Lomachenko and Mikey Garcia but right now my focus is Gesta. After that we will see what lines up for us. I prefer Lomachenko and Mikey Garcia in that order but first Gesta.”

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