The next Manny Pacquiao, 20 wins and 0 defeats

San Diego, Friday, October 22, 2010

Standing next to well known promoter, Jorge Marron, Mercito Gesta poses for a photo after his big win over Ivan Valle on October 22, 2010 Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

By way of reviewing Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta’s performance on Friday evening, in the Solo Boxeo feature bout at San Diego’s Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, I believe you’ll agree Gesta has one fault. His fights don’t last that long.


As the partisan Filipino crowd watched their 5’7” champion use his lightning fast combinations, they were probably thinking, Could he not hit so hard? This fight looks like it’s going to be over in a flash.

Gesta, now 20-0 with one draw, is quick, strong, knows exactly which of his wide-variety of punches to deliver and from what angle, and most importantly, he’s now in his prime. Against Gesta, the once formidable Ivan “Relampago” Valle (28-10-0 with 24 KO’s), now 30 years old, looked more like a club fighter up against Gesta.

Even though Valle, who hails from Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, had faced many of the divisions top performers, he looked like a rookie in comparison to Gesta. The 23 year old from Cebu City, Philippines hardly broke a sweat. As a matter of conjecture he probably faced tougher opponents in his sparring sessions.

In the opening round Gesta caught Valle with a stunning right hand to knock Valle off his feet. Valle got up but he was clearly dazed. Shortly after that he was dropped by a right and left combination. As the round ended, he made his way back to his stool on wobbly legs. Referee Pat Russell asked the fight doctor to check Valle out during intermission.

When the fight resumed, Gesta was again all over Valle until his corner wisely signaled an official that they were giving up.

On the undercard:

After his victory over Juan Carlos Diaz, referee Pat Russell raises the arm of Mark Selser from Mansfield, Ohio. Phot0 credit: Jim Wyatt

Bout #1 featured undefeated lightweight Mark Salser (11-0, 9 KO’s) who looks like he’s back to work. After taking a year and five month sabbatical (February, 2009 to July, 2010) and ballooning up to 200 pounds, coach Mickey Scodova says his welterweight contender finally has his priorities straight.

Friday’s fight wasn’t exactly a walk in the park for Salser. Juan Carlos Diaz (7-11-0, 6 KOs) came prepared. At different points in the match, it appeared the club fighter, who has lost 11 of his last 15 bouts, might pull off the upset. After Salser took round one, Diaz evened the match by taking Round two. In the third round Diaz made a critical error when he slowly switched his stance from righty to lefty. Salser rushed forward to land some big shots. In the final round, Diaz traded blows but couldn’t pull out the victory.

In this photo we see Gloria Salas (right) getting smacked by a left hook from Amaris Quintana. Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

The next match featured Mini-Flyweights Amaris Quintana (3-0-2) of La Mesa, Ca. and Gloria Salas (3-5-1) of Riverside, Ca. The young ladies put on quite a show accentuated by the steady stream of blood coming from Quintana’s nose. It was the third time that the ladies met in the ring and as before an all out battle ensued.

Most likely Salas took the first round especially after landing that straight right to get Quintana’s nose bleeding. Even though she was bleeding profusely, Quintana never took a step back. Forgetting all those promises to her coach to move more, Quintana charged forward after Salas to land the more powerful combinations.

From the way the ladies fought, it was evident neither wanted to lose. In the end it was Quintana getting the decision 40-36 (twice) and 39-37. Before and after the bout I’ve never seen two boxers that had more genuine respect for one another.

During a break in the action, a photo of the fallen fighter, Felix "the Cat" Castro was presented to the Castro family. Photo credit: jim Wyatt

In between bouts a ten count was given for fallen boxer Felix Castro who passed away suddenly last week. Castro was scheduled to be featured on the night’s fight card. During the break, the promoters presented his father with a plaque and a beautiful glass enclosed photo of his son in recognition of the once promising career.

After his victory over Adolfo Landeros, Michael "Little Warrior" Franco has his arm raised in victory. Photo: Jim Wyatt

The very popular Michael “Lil’ Warrior” Franco (17-0-0, 11 KO’s as a pro, 49-1 as an amateur) made his return to the ring after a nine month lay off against Adolfo Landeros (20-16-1, 9 KO’s) of Hidalgo, Hidalgo, Mexico in an eight rounder.

All eyes were on Franco to see how he would respond after recovering from lazer eye surgery. During the healing process, the 23 year-old stayed busy and opened up his own gym, the Warriors Combat Academy in Rancho Cucamonga, Ca. With the added work load, he arrives at 8 a.m. and leaves at 9 p.m., he couldn’t possibly train as hard as he once did. And as he got older, the Super bantamweight became a Super featherweight.

In the first couple rounds of Friday night’s match-up with Landeros, Franco established early that he was the heavier hitter. As the aggressor he had Landeros backing up and on occasion he landed the big crowd pleasing overhand right or uppercut. With Landeros getting the worst of it but fighting back valiantly, he began to win over the crowd, especially when Franco started to tire. and was now fighting with his mouth open. Landeros was having far mores success as he landed punches on the inside and then to the head that marked up Franco around the eyes.

Every time it appeared Landeros might make a comeback, the tougher Franco reach down into his reserve. The decision was a unanimous one for Franco with scores of 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74.

Christian Bojorquez (left) takes aim at the hard charging Salvador Cifuentez (right). Photo credit: Jim Wyatt

In the final match, two local featherweights were making their debut, Salvador Cifuentez of the Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista and the former Mexican amateur standout Christian Bojorquez of Tijuana, Mexico. Even though Cifuentez was four inches shorter, he remained the aggressor throughout. Bojorquez did exactly what he was supposed to do. He moved laterally, employed a excellent defense and countered well. After a while Bojorquez’s hard jab and sharp punching took their toll. As the fight progressed, Cifuentez slowed a bit and landed his punches less frequently. The majority decision of 38-38, 40-36 and 39-37 awarded Bojorquez the win.

After winning in his debut over Salvador Cifuentez, Jr. Welterweight Christian Bojorquez poses for a photo. Photo: Jim Wyatt

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