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List of Articles by Maloney L. Samaco



By Maloney L. Samaco
26 Jan 2018

Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (31-1-2, 17 KOs) is ready for his second world title shot as he slugs it out against WBA lightweight world champion Jorge “El Niño De Oro” Linares (43-3, 27 KOs) of Venezuela this Saturday at the Forum in Inglewood, California live on HBO Boxing After Dark. “I’m fighting Jorge Linares, I’m excited to be fighting for a title. Linares is good, I really like this challenge and I can’t wait,” Gesta told

* * *

Gesta trained under Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym along with his assistant Marvin Zamudio and conditioning coach Justin Fortune. “Camp is great, Freddie Roach is really smart he knows what he’s doing. Along with Marvin Zamudio he has also been great. My conditioning is great thanks to Justine Fortune,” Gesta described his preparation. Linares, a three-division world champion, successfully defended his title last September in his last fight against Luke Campbell at the Forum.

* * *

“Linares is a world champion. He is quick, fast, and he is a tremendous fighter. He is a champ for a reason,” said Gesta on his foe. Fresh from a knockout victory over Martin Honorio in September at the Forum, it was the same boxing card where Linares defended his title setting the chance for Gesta to return to the same renowned place once again hoping to grab the title from the Venezuelan.

* * *

“We have been studying him and his key will be the speed for me. We plan to pressure and be smart,” Gesta added. The 30-year-old Gesta will have his second chance to go for the world title as he prepares hard to seize the opportunity. His first attempt at the world title was in December 2012 and it was very unfortunate for the Filipinos as Gesta lost a lopsided decision to Miguel Vasquez on the same card that Juan Manuel Marquez floored Manny Pacquiao. “I learned a lot from that fight. The defeat really helped me in a way. I have grown a lot from that fight,” Gesta said on his lone defeat.

* * *

Being compared to Manny Pacquiao and considered the next Filipino star, Gesta felt the pressure and a lot to prove. “There was a lot of pressure at the beginning for me. Everyone was like I’m going to be the next Pacquiao or Filipino great but I was like no. Pacquiao is an all time great and I will have my own career. I feel the pressure is gone now,” Gesta explained. He added that he needs to show that there is no pressure. He said he is fighting for a world title and now he can handle this stage.

* * *

After his only loss Gesta signed with Golden Boy Promotions and has established a record of 5-0-1, with 2 knockouts and gained this world title shot. The showdown on Saturday has the making of another classic encounter at the legendary Forum. “Expect a great fight. It will be like a chessmatch but it will be an interesting fight,” Gesta concluded.

* * *

Freddie Roach trained Jorge Linares in the later part of his career, and that includes his last loss almost six years ago. Roach knew a lot about Linares during the Venezuelan's second-round technical knockout defeat to Sergio Thompson. The Hall of Fame coach analyzed that although Gesta is a huge underdog, he can score a big upset during their fight with Linares for the WBA lightweight title.

* * *

“It’s a very, very tough fight,” Roach told BoxingScene. “[Linares] is a very good fighter. I worked with him before. But Gesta could take his heart. The thing is, he’s getting older and so forth, and once he gets caught, he falls apart. If you frustrate him, he falls apart. If things don’t go his way, he can be a little bit of a baby. At this point in his career, I think we have a very good shot to win that fight.”

* * *

The welterweight division is widely considered as the toughest class in pro boxing today. CompuBox ranks the top pugilists at 147 lbs in 10 categories. Errol Spence ranks No.1 due to his offensive output and accuracy. Terence Crawford, who makes his welterweight debut against Jeff Horn in April, is the best defender.

* * *

Spence is No.1 in punches landed/thrown, tied for No.1 in jabs landed. He is No.1 with 16 power punches landed per round, No.2 with 47.1% power punches connected. He is also No.2 in opponents' punches landed 29.9% of their power. 31.4% of Spence's landed punches are body shots which is No.1 among top welterweights.

* * *

Terence Crawford is No. 1 with +14.6 plus/minus rating. Crawford tied with Spence for No.1 with 6.6 jabs landed per round. Bud's 47.9% power punches connected is also No.1. His opponents landed 20% of their total punches, 25% of their power punches and 7 punches per round which is No.1 in all 3 categories.

* * *

Manny Pacquiao is No.1 with 15.5 power shots landed per round. He is No.2 with 19.4 punches landed per round and No.2 with 58 thrown per round. Keith Thurman is the most accurate power puncher at 48% and No.2 with 13.2 power punches landed per round. Shawn Porter & Danny Garcia's opponents landed 35% & 36.8%, respectively of their power shots. Jeff Horn was the least accurate, landing just 25.2% of his total punches and 28.8% of power punches.

* * *

Spence and Pacquiao are the only fighters to throw punches above the welterweight averages. All the seven welterweights ranked held their opponents power punch % connected and punches landed per round below the CompuBox averages.

* * *

Points Distribution for the 7 fighters on the list. 7 points for No.1 in each category, 6 points for No.2, 5 points for No.3, 4 points for No.4, 3 points for No.5, 2 points for No.6, 1 point for No.7. The Compubox rankings are as follows:

1. Errol Spence - 62
2. Terence Crawford - 53
3. Manny Pacquiao - 50
4. Keith Thurman - 47
5. Shawn Porter - 27
6. Danny Garcia - 25
7. Jeff Horn - 16

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