Jorge Linares vs Mercito Gesta
WBA lightweight world champion, Venezuelan, Jorge Linares defends his title against challenger Mercito Gesta, in California, Gesta, an underdog, but rarely defeated, and his trainer, world class coach, Freddie Roach, extremely confident his fighter will get the upset win.
The fight begins at a steady pace, but both are intent on finding openings to catch the other with a good shot. Surprisingly, the first 2 rounds are more or less even, as they land a similarly small amount of punches, Gesta, the aggressor, landing with more force, Linares, landing a couple of clean punches.
The fight is interesting, Linares is challenged, but in round 3, his skill begins to play a real part in the fight, as both guys are focused, insistent not to make mistakes, but Linares is able to exploit any mistakes Gesta does make, and his timing, experience becomes more relevant in the fight.
As the rounds go by, it gets less competitive, as Linares doesn't give Gesta the ground to exchange, he frustrates the challenger, and often enough, he puts the picks up the points by landing clean shots on the counter, his speed, in hand and foot, a factor. Linares doesn't seem to be hurting Gesta, but for about 6 straight rounds, the fight is comfortable for the champion.
A mile behind, Gesta begins to take more chances in the last quarter of the fight, throwing more shots, Linares having moved around the ring a lot, slowing down a little bit, allowing Gesta to exchange shots against the champion more often. Linares, not needing every round, lowers his output, and aggressive Gesta, begins to have success, landing the occasional clean shot, but Linares's defence, movement, experience disallows Gesta from really rallying, he doesn't hit the champion with a lot, and Linares is still able to land good shots on the counter.
Gesta, having lost most rounds, had not one really good round, has to go for broke in the last round, wisely, Linares seems to coast. Gesta seems to hurt Linares slightly with a snapping left hand, but Linares uses his mobility, and the challenger is unable to follow it up, and needing to put the champion on the floor to win the fight, the challenger is left chasing shadows.
To no surprise, the judges all score Linares a winner, and by wide margins, two judges, 118-110, the other 117-111.
Jorge Linares successfully defends his world title.