|Gesta Goes with Top Rank
By Ryan Maquiñana, MaxBoxing (May 26, 2011) Special to Doghouse Boxing (Photo © Laura De La Torre)
WBO number two lightweight
Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta has signed with Top Rank, according to promoter Bob Arum.
“Yes, we’ve signed [Gesta],”
said Arum by telephone this afternoon. “His first fight with us will be on July 9. As
far as who he’s fighting, that will be up to the matchmakers.”
According to Gesta and his
manager/trainer Vince Parra, Arum invited them to his Beverly Hills home last
Tuesday to discuss the details of the contract, which was reportedly for four
years. Parra especially emphasized Arum’s transparency during negotiations
as a key factor in the decision.
“I’m very happy with the
deal,” said Gesta, 21-0-1 (11), an intriguing southpaw with a blend of power
and speed. “I was happy to meet with Bob Arum at his house and I’m excited
to be with Top Rank now.”
The news is a blow to Golden
Boy, who had been the favorite to sign the free agent after his contract with
Golden Boy consultant Don Chargin had recently run its course. The Los
Angeles-based promoter has whiffed on their second Filipino star in as many
tries, as their attempt to sign bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire away from Top Rank has now ended up in
“Look, Golden Boy did a
great job putting Mercito on his shows but we thought that with Nonito not
signing with Golden Boy that it would make them love us even more,” said
Parra. “But there were a couple breaking points. First, I’d say the
amount of money between the two deals was minuscule but Golden Boy wouldn’t
budge. In fact, I didn’t give Golden Boy the first shot; I gave them the
first and second shot to sign us.
“Second, I think the biggest
thing was that Bob personally invited us to his house, while [Golden Boy CEO]
Richard Schaefer wouldn’t even talk to us during the whole process. They wouldn’t even let us speak to
[chief matchmaker] Eric Gomez, so I think that told us where we stood with
As stated above, Gesta’s
first fight under the Top Rank banner will be July 9 at the Home Depot Center in Carson on
the undercard of Brandon Rios’s first lightweight title defense against Urbano
Antillon. The San Diego resident via Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines,
has knocked out his last four opponents and six of seven.
With Juan Manuel Marquez
abdicating his WBO lightweight belt to fight Manny
November and the heir apparent, interim titleholder Robert Guerrero, looking to challenge Amir Khan for his WBA light welterweight title
in July, the road might be paved for Gesta and Top Rank to make a play for a
championship run in the near future.
“Mercito’s happy to get in
with anybody, whether it’s [IBF lightweight titlist Miguel] Vazquez, Brandon
Rios, or whoever they’ve got,” said Parra. “We’re ready for a title shot
by the end of the year. Golden Boy didn’t feel like we were worth very much,
so Mercito wants to show the world otherwise.”
* * *
For the full-length feature
I wrote on Mercito last February before he stopped Genaro Trazancos by
third-round TKO in San Francisco, please
click the following link: http://www.maxboxing.com/news/promo-lead/mercito-gesta-brings-no-mercy-to-san-francisco
Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/rmaq28 on Twitter at twitter.com/rmaq28.
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