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“Straight from dSource”: Exclusive Interview with Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta
Despite still young in his quest to become one of the best Filipinos to ever lace up a pair of boxing gloves, undefeated lightweight rising star Mercito ‘No Mercy’ Gesta (22-0-1) has already made quite a buzz for himself.
Gesta’s next fight will be at the Blue Water Resort and Casino in Parker, Arizona on September 17 against 27-year-old WBC Latino jr. welterweight champion Manuel Perez (16-6-1) in a 10-round lightweight clash. Jose Benavidez, Jr., who has been working out and sparring with Gesta at the Wild Card Gym, will also be featured in that card against Angel Rios in a six-round jr. welterweight bout.
I recently caught up with Gesta for a phone interview, to talk about his upcoming opponent, his training camp, and reasons why he believes he can beat WBA lightweight champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios (28-0-1).
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Interview Transcript (translated from Tagalog / video attached):
dSource – “So you’re fighting Manuel Perez. This guy is a pretty good fighter as well. Have you scouted him already? Can you tell us how this guy fights, and how you plan to beat him?”
Mercito Gesta – “My trainer Vince Parra and my father have looked into the tapes and studied his fighting style. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve just been training; I haven’t looked at the computer or seen him fight yet. But according to my father and my team, he fights like (Brandon) Rios. He comes forward and likes to attack. He showed me some tactics and we studied his style, so I’m going to work on that.”
dSource – “That’s good. If he fights like Rios, then that would be a slug fest.”
Mercito Gesta – “Yeah, they say he’s a “come-forward” fighter, and that’s what I like; fighters who don’t run. It’s harder to fight fighters who are runners, because you have to find a way to corner them, chase them, and counter them. But if a fighter just comes forward, it’s easier, because he leaves himself open when he tries to come it. It’s better for counter-punching; you can feint more to make him go inside, and we got that in training in this fight.”
dSource – “That’s great to hear that your father is in Cebu, but he’s still very active in helping you out and sharing you some tips.”
Mercito Gesta – “Yeah. He always reminds me, “you’re opponent is like this”, “train hard”, “don’t be overconfident”, he gives me advice every time.”
dSource – “So what did he say about your debut under Top Rank against Pimentel?”
Mercito Gesta – “He was happy with my performance. He liked how I was calm and countered, but also pointed out that I still have a long way to go because I will be fighting better and tougher opponents, and that it’s still a long journey so I have to keep training hard and learn new things. I am very fortunate that I have the type of support I get from my family.”
dSource – “So that must mean you have a lot of phone cards to call overseas (laughing).”
Mercito Gesta – “(laughing) We talk online.. Skype.. Facebook.. Yahoo.”
dSource – “You saw the fight between Rios ad Antillon; that was great fight between two tough top lightweight fighters beating each other up. What can you say about that fight?”
Mercito Gesta – “It was a great fight. It was fun to watch, because both of them have similar styles; neither wanted to back down. It was pleasant to watch. The only thing is, if you really want to break it down, they didn’t really show a lot of technique. It was fun to watch, because people love to watch beat downs, but if he (Rios) got hit first with a big punch too, he would’ve been in danger as well. You can’t really say, but Rios is the younger fighter.”
dSource – “Let’s talk about Rios. I know you see something about Rios that you feel you can take advantage of that’s why you want to fight him. Some people think you may just be hyping yourself up by talking about fighting Rios, but I know you really believe you can handle him. What do you see in Rios that makes you feel confident about your chances against him?”
Mercito Gesta – “I watched and observed his style, and all I see is one style. His only style is to come forward. That’s his only style. So style-wise, I know I can handle him, but of course the thing I don’t know yet is if I can handle his power. But if I won’t allow him to hit me or I use my head in that fight, I can definitely handle him. And I’ve also been hit hard before wherein I lost my mouthpiece and that kind of stuff, but my jaw was able to resist the heavy blows. I think I can handle it, but of course we will have to see.”
* * * * * * *
Gesta has been turning heads at the Wild Card Gym, wherein he’s sparred some of the best fighters in the sport like Amir Khan, Jorge Linares and recently, “Sugar” Shane Mosley. Gesta held his own against Mosley and took all his hard shots. “Man, he reminds me of Manny and I could have used him in my last camp,” Mosley said about Gesta. And according to Parra, Gesta surprised the former best pound-for-pound fighter in the world with the things he was able to do inside the ring.
(Click here for a video of my interview with Mercito Gesta)
– DG –
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Filipino Sports Examiner Dennis ‘dSource’ Guillermo is a freelance sports writer. You can find his articles on TV 5’s Interaksyon.com, BoxingScene.com, The SunStar newspaper in the Philippines and SportsManila.net.
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