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Bare Eye

Arum says he has found the next Pacquiao

A day after Mercito Gesta stopped a Mexican journeyman in Carson, California, not a few fans started to wonder how the talented Cebuano had managed to escape Tony Aldeguer’s talent radar.
You see, with the sharp, methodical style dished out by the 23-year-old Gesta, a southpaw, it would’ve required some serious hiding in order for him to avoid Aldeguer’s sharp, discriminating lenses.
Aldeguer, in case you’re still wondering, is the boxing guru, the premier talent scout and developer of boxers in his native Cebu.
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Anyway, more than Gesta’s power—he decked his foe in each of the first two rounds before blowing him up with a crunchy right uppercut in the third—it was his near-clinical prowess that drew raves.
Bob Arum jumped up and announced moves to push Gesta to full stardom, the faster the better.
He said a next fight would be lined up in six weeks.
Before he could recover his breath, Arum said Gesta, after that sensational debut, should be fighting in the undercard of the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito tiff before the year ends.
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But the expert most amazed was veteran scribe Michael Marley of Examiner.com who, together with Arum, readily swore Gesta has the makings of a next Pacquiao.
Said Arum, as quoted by Marley: “I don’t want to be ethnical, but he’s the next Manny Pacquiao!”
Marley remarked that, compared to the young Pacquiao, Gesta was slick and quite composed.
Marley readily explained that the Pacquiao he spoke of in comparison was the bomb-throwing kamikaze slugger, before the Pacman was taken in and polished by Freddie Roach.
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Gesta, a lightweight, is 22-0 with 11 KOs.
Dennis “D Source” Guillermo says that, unlike Pacquiao, Gesta was a homemade fighter.
“His old house is the gym and he was born there,” Guillermo noted.
Vince Para, who co-manages Gesta, said the boxer’s father, Aniceto, was a tireless disciplinarian.
“He showed him the ropes in various martial arts from day one and made him do everything correctly,” Para added.
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Meanwhile, Guillermo was quick to note that Gesta had refused to be swayed by the accolades.
“They sound nice, but I take them as nothing more than compliments,” a blushing Gesta explained.
After a brief break, Gesta, he with the strong, smiling face and military-style haircut, will be back on the road.
Needless to say, he’s dreaming of an early crack at a world crown.
But equal to that goal is his wish to have his father with him.
“I’ll do everything that I can do to get him here in the US to see me fight live,” Gesta told Guillermo.
By the way, Tony Aldeguer can’t be blamed for missing out on Gesta.
As traced by renowned boxing writer Rene Bonsubre, Gesta was transplanted from Cebu and started boxing seriously, with San Diego, California, his base, in 2007.
“Before we all get carried away, what we want to know is how Gesta would fare against calibered and truly seasoned opponents,” Bonsubre suggested.
Jorge Pimentel, the Mexican Gesta demolished, took the fight on a 10-day notice.
The defeat he suffered on Sunday was already Pimentel’s 12th against 22 losses and one draw.
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(DOUBLE BOGEY: Golf godfather Louie Reyes has this to say about the controversial vote that deprived national treasure Manny Pacquiao of membership in an exclusive country club: “Rod Feliciano and I are pissed. Manila Golf Club and Manila Polo Club rejected the membership of Manny Pacquiao. Damned elitists. Manny earned his fortune without stealing from the Filipino and brought pride and glory for Pinoys. How many members of the club can claim the same? How idiotic. They deserve to be censured.”)

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TAGS: Boxing, Mercito Gesta, Sports
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