Sports

Mercito Gesta is still here and looking to prove it against Joel Diaz Jr.

Mercito Gesta hopes to maintain his dream of being a champion alive when he fights Joel Diaz Jr. on Thursday, April 21, on Golden Boy’s DAZN card. 

Manny Pacquiao is a people hero within the Philippines. He rose out of poverty to develop into a world boxing champion, senator and presidential candidate. Early in his profession, Mercito Gesta drew comparisons to the nice Pacquiao.

But three losses largely erased these comparisons, proving how chilly this boxing sport is.

Gesta (32-3-3, 17 KOs) solely has three losses on his file, however many have counted the previous championship contender out.

Ironically, Pacquiao has eight losses on his file and is taken into account probably the greatest boxers in historical past. However, he gained world titles throughout eight divisions and beat boxing Hall-of-Famers.

Gesta by no means equaled these accomplishments, however who has?

Like Pacquiao, Gesta can be a southpaw boxer from the Philippines. When he was successful, that’s all anyone noticed–one other nice Filipino hope.

Gesta was a prodigy of types rising up in Cebu, Philippines. He didn’t begin coaching till he was 15, though his father was a former Muy Thai kickboxer.

With a yr’s price of coaching, Gesta proved that he was prepared for the professionals regardless of by no means competing as an newbie.

“I do not have any amateur boxing fight,” Gesta revealed to FanSided. “But when I went to a gym to this boxing stable in Cebu, I’ve been training with professionals. There’s no amateur in that gym. And when the coach found out that, you know, I don’t have any amateur fight, they were thinking that they might set me up in an amateur fight, but one fight got canceled, and one of the coach seeing that I’ve been sparring with the professionals, and saying, ‘You know what? You’d be sparring with a professional. Why go to amateur? Just go to Pro.”

Watch Mercito Gesta vs. Joel Diaz Jr. on Thursday, April 21, on DAZN at 9 p.m. ET

Gesta took that recommendation, however he was solely 16 years previous. He wanted his dad and mom to log off to permit him to compete professionally as a teen towards grown males.

Gesta had no worry of entering into the ring towards adults. He was used to it since he sparred males on the fitness center every single day.

His professional profession began sturdy. Gesta amassed a 26-0-1 file with 14 KOs throughout the first 9 years.

Then in 2012, Gesta took a call loss towards Miguel Vazquez. He labored his means again up the ladder and landed a title shot towards Jorge Linares in 2018, which he misplaced by choice.

The Linares loss began a string of frustrations for Gesta, who has gone 1-1-1 in his final three fights. Now, at 34 years previous, his April 21 bout towards Joel Diaz Jr. might be his final likelihood to regain footing as a title contender.

There’s nothing to be ashamed about in dropping to a champion like Linares, however Gesta cringes on the reminiscence of preventing Carlos Morales to a attract his final contest in 2019. Gesta looks like weight and different well being points contributed to his subpar efficiency.

“I have to take a break and then come to realize that, hey, I love the sport,” Gesta mentioned. “Things happen. Continue because my body is looking for it. My body feels like, you know, I can still move. I don’t have a knee problem. And then after the Morales fight just got my elbow surgery.”

With 29 months out of the ring, Gesta retooled by taking good care of bodily illnesses which have hindered him.

Despite his string of inconsistencies, Gesta speaks with confidence and thoughtfulness. There’s a reduction in his voice as if he’s carried out weathering a tumultuous storm.

Gesta additionally speaks about boxing with a ardour. He appears to genuinely miss competing within the ring, however there’s additionally an urgency about him. Maybe the stress of passing time is aiding his focus.

Also, Gesta and his spouse eagerly anticipate their son’s delivery.

“I just keep myself busy and motivate,” Gesta mentioned. “Especially that my wife is pregnant right now. It definitely motivates me having this first boy. We’re having a boy.”

Gesta added, “It’s a different feeling, and it motivates me to not just because of me. I think about I have a son, and I need to provide, and it’s just a great feeling. It feels like it makes me, you know, get me energetic and get more stronger.”

Gesta isn’t apprehensive about dwelling as much as previous extreme expectations. He’s boxing as a result of he enjoys it and for his rising household.

“I’m still here,” Gesta mentioned. “You know, there’s a saying once a fighter, you’re always going be a fighter. So I’m here.”



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