Mercito Gesta Leads The Top Rank Prospect Showcase On Friday Night Fights


Live this Friday from the Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas Nevada, undefeated rising star Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (25-0-1 13KO’s) and Ty Barnett (20-2-1 13KO’s) will battle in a 10 round lightweight bout as part of the main event on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. This fight is supposed to be a showcase of Gesta’s talents and another notch on his belt en route to a title shot.


Gesta’s promoter, Top Rank, has been reluctant to put him against top level opposition at this point, which should raise some eyebrows. Though Mercito is only 24 years old, he turned professional in 2003 at the young age of 16. The first 11 fights of his career were in his home country of the Philippines- with the lone blemish on his resume being a draw in his 10th fight. It’s pretty much been smooth sailing since. With being ranked 10th by the IBF, 6th by the WBA at lightweight, and 11th by the WBO in the Jr. Welterweight division, securing a few more wins will put him in line for a title fight. The southpaw Gesta is a slickster inside the ring. There are glaring holes in his game, such as lack of superior hand speed and lapses in defense- which is probably the reason Top Rank has eased him along.


For Washington D.C.’s own Ty Barnett an opponent like Gesta can be a blessing in disguise. Winning a fight against a top ranked fighter can boost Barnett from unknown and being virtually unranked to contender in one night. He’s off the chart on every major boxing organization’s rankings and is ranked #192 in the world by boxrec. Having decent overall skill with slightly above average power and mediocre defense, at best, Barnett will be fighting an uphill battle all night. In his last 6 fights he is 4-2 against C level opposition. He has back to back wins coming into Friday night; both were against terrible opponents with a combined record of 22-74-5 (I was being nice by saying terrible). The 2 losses were by KO in the 1st and 3rd round.


Gesta should be able to dominate the fight, he’s the superior boxer. If he comes in with his hands low like he’s known to do then it could be detrimental to his health. Barnett is expecting a win this weekend and has been vocal about it saying that Gesta is a pretender not a contender; also that he has plans to exploit Mercito. In reality the chances of that happening are slim to none, but the beauty of the sweet science is that one punch can change the course of a fight.


Barnett foresees a win, but I don’t find that his Friday night will go as he plans. Gesta has to increase his punch output, which I think he will, and I see a KO in the 9th round (maybe even earlier) in “No Mercy’s” fortune. They are the “biggest” fight of the weekend due to the postponement of Wilfredo Vazquez Jr and Rafael Marquez, so all eyes will be on Mercito. Being impressive and building his brand further is necessary to show his promoter that it’s time for a step up in competition.


Included on the card Friday is undefeated Top Rank prospect Mickey Bey Jr. (18-0-1 9KO’s) vs Rob Frankel (30-12-1 6KO’s) in a scheduled 10 round lightweight bout and another Top Rank prospect Jesse Magdaleno (10-0 7KO’s) vs. tough Brazilian Aldimar Silva Santos (17-2 9KO’s) facing off in an 8 round Jr. Featherweight contest. My predictions for these two fights are Bey Jr. in a unanimous decision and Magdaleno, also scoring a unanimous decision victory. Friday Night Fights will be aired on ESPN2 at 9pm est.

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