Former world title challenger Mercito Gesta scored a thrilling ten round unanimous decision over Lightweight contender Joel Diaz on Thursday night at the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, CA. In his first bout in two and a half years, Gesta came out with intentions of ending the fight early and quickly found a home for his left hand out of the southpaw stance. It was Gesta’s straight left hands that badly hurt Diaz and dropped him twice in the first round. Diaz seemingly just barely made it out of the first round and was subsequently told by his trainer that he would be given one more round.
From the second round on however, Diaz remained more than willing to engage with Gesta in what became a toe to toe war. A fight that was fought at a high pace from start to finish and featured no shortage of heated exchanges of offense between the two fighters, the general pattern was Gesta was able to get the better of most of the exchanges. The grueling battle remained right until the final bell where Gesta earned a very hard fought unanimous decision victory. Official scores were: 96-92, (On two scorecards) and 95-93 all in favor of Gesta. Mercito Gesta advances to 33-3-3, with 17 Knockouts. Joel Diaz falls to 26-3, with 22 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
Unbeaten Lightweight Jousce Gonzalez scored a sixth round stoppage over a very “Game” Jairo Lopez. Gonzalez was near relentless in his attack from the opening bell landing punches to the head and body of Lopez. This resulted in three knockdowns between rounds two and three. Although Lopez seemed out gunned and on the verge of being stopped after three rounds, he showed his mettle by fighting his heart out and managed to make it into the sixth round. Despite the effort however, a combination to the head that snapped Lopez head back brought an end to the fight at 2:29 of round six. While he was not in a position to win the fight and left the ring with a loss, Lopez did succeed in winning over the crowd in attendance with the heart he showed in the bout. Jousce Gonzalez advances to 12-0, with 11 Knockouts. Jairo Lopez falls to 27-15, with 17 Knockouts.
Undefeated Jr. Featherweight prospect Manuel Flores scored a third round knockout of veteran Victor Ruiz. Flores consistently walked Ruiz down from the outset and executed an attack to the body and head. It was this attack that ultimately resulted in Flores dropping Ruiz three times in the third round to earn the convincing stoppage victory. Official time of the stoppage was 2:21 of round three. Manuel Flores advances to 12-0, with 9 Knockouts. Victor Ruiz falls to 23-13, with 16 Knockouts.
Flyweight Jan Salvatierra scored a second round stoppage of veteran Ernie Marquez. A competitive fight that saw several exchanges between the two boxers in the opening round, was halted when Marquez was floored by a glancing straight right hand to the body, but appeared to injure his ankle as he went down. Despite Marquez getting up and insisting he could continue even though he got up limping badly, the bout was stopped. Official time of the stoppage was 2:26 of round two. Jan Salvatierra advances to 8-1, with 4 Knockouts. Ernie Marquez falls to 10-18-2, with 3 Knockouts.
Featherweight Jorge Chavez began the evening by scoring a second round knockout of Jonathan Tejeda. A jab to the head followed by a right hook to the body and a glancing overhand right to the head put Tejeda down for the count at 1:04 of round two. Jorge Chavez advances to 2-0, with 2 Knockouts. Jonathan Tejeda falls to 0-2, with 0 Knockouts.
It is not too often particularly on a series that is meant primarily as a showcase for young up and coming prospects as this card, promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions as part of its revived Thursday night monthly Boxing series that on digital subscription sports streaming network DAZN, which was halted by the circumstances of the COVID-19 epidemic, that unfortunately, remains ongoing, to say that a Fight of the Year candidate emerged. While there is certainly plenty of time remaining in 2022 for other bouts to make a claim for such an honor, the fight between Mercito Gesta and Joel Diaz has emerged as a front-runner in the view of this observer. A fight that frankly I for one would not mind seeing a rematch of.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
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