Boxing Tips & Prediction: Linares vs. Gesta

2018 welcomes an opportunity for Jorge Linares, otherwise known as El Niño de Oro or Golden Boy, to successfully defend his WBA World lightweight title for the third time. Standing in his path is Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta from the Philippines. The bout takes place on January 27 at the Forum in Inglewood, California. For extra value for fight fans across the globe, Linares, 32, will also be defending his WBC Diamond 135 lb. title on this hallmark occasion.

Native Venezuelan Linares brings immense speed and skill to this exciting professional boxing bout, just two of many reasons why he is a currently untouchable in this lightweight division. Having moved to London via a brief stint in Japan, Linares has accrued a global following and is often talked up as a pound-for-pound contender. He has left a stable of credible opponents in his wake from veterans, to Olympic medalists to former prodigies, and he doesn’t discriminate – Linares has won in Europe, Asia, North and South America.

Aged 30, Mercito Moya Gesta has been around the block enough times to know how to handle a tip tier opponent. Having only lost thrice in his pro career, the San Diego resident is well versed in tackling tricky fighters with speed and agility. As a southpaw from the Philippines, there has always been a tendency for critics to bestow the New Manny Pacquiao moniker upon him, although Gesta has never reached the heights of his fellow countryman. He is backed by head coach Freddie Roach who is no doubt a positive influence.

Jorge Linares Form and Fight Record

You can’t take anything away from Linares going on the outcomes of his last batch of pro fights alone. On paper he is the man to beat, there’s no doubting that statement. Critics may ask whether his recent wars with British hopefuls Luke Campbell and Anthony Crolla have worn him down to the point where he is vulnerable to being outpointed on the scorecards. Linares went to the wire with both fighters and at times seemed as though he had lost control over the ring. Not being known as a big puncher may be the chink in his armour once the legwork begins to slow down in his autumn years. But as of now, this encounter with Gesta will show whether he can still operate at the very best level in boxing, which we expect he most certainly can.

Jorge Linares Last Five Boxing Fights

Win via split decision – Luke Campbell

Win via unanimous decision – Anthony Crolla

Win via unanimous decision – Anthony Crolla

Win via TKO/KO – Ivan Cano

Win via TKO/KO – Kevin Mitchell  


Watch video highlights of Jorge Linares against Luke Campbell


Mercito Gesta Form and Fight Record

Some prayed he would evolve as the new Manny Pacquiao after he wiped the floor with Manuel Perez, Ivan Valle, Generao Trazancos and Ty Barnett. 14 years on in his professional career and his almost impeccable win streak was interrupted by a loss to Miguel Vasquez. The setback seems to have spurred Gesta on, since then he has won five and drawn one. And he can punch too – his most recent victory came as a result of knocking out Martin Honorio.

Mercito Gesta Last Five Boxing Fights

Win via KO/TKO – Martin Honorio

Win via unanimous decision – Gilberto Gonzalez

Win via unanimous decision – Miguel Mendoza

Draw – Carlos Molina

Win via retirement – Luis Arceo


Watch video highlights of Mercito Gesta against Martin Honorio


Jorge Linares vs. Mercito Gesta Prediction

No one would argue against Gesta putting on a decent show and potentially threatening Linares with his punching power. Few would see him as a danger to the champion, who can work his way out of trouble with neat footwork. It’s likely that Roach is going to have Gesta pour pressure on Linares in order to win via knockout – it’s the only realistic chance of him sealing victory against a classier opponent.

Golden Boy will not want this bout to be a war, having evidently suffered at the hands of Brit Luke Campbell last time out. If he fights the smart fight, there could well be a stoppage by Roach and his cornermen before the final bell. Or a stubborn Gesta could endure the typical for the full 12 rounds.

Our tip for this fight is for Jorge Linares to win via stoppage or unanimous decision.

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