By Marcus Richardson: Unbeaten lightweight contender Mercito Gesta (26-0-1, 14 KO’s) scored a relatively easy 9th round TKO win over a made to order Ty Barnett (20-3-1, 13 KO’s) on Friday Night Fights after knocking Barnett down twice in the 9th to get a stoppage at the Texas Station Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The stoppage wasn’t what you’d like to see in the sport, however, as Gesta clearly knocked Barnett down with a left hand after the bell and the referee failed waive it off. Instead, the fight was halted just after Barnett staggered to his feet. In the grand scheme of things it probably wouldn’t have mattered had the referee not counted the knockdown because Barnett was already badly hurt and probably wouldn’t have made it out of the ring anyway. But still you don’t like to see fighters getting credit for knockdowns on shots that occurred after the bell, because that would change the sport if those things were allowed.
The fight was pretty much a one-sided affair aside from the 3rd and 4th rounds. Gesta dominated with his speed and work rate and didn’t have to really worry too much about Barnett aside from an occasional hard right hand body shot. Barnett looked to be the bigger puncher, but he wasn’t able to throw nearly as many punches as Gesta and that made things difficult for him.
Gesta, 24, had Barnett hurt early in the 5th round after catching him against the ropes and blasting away at him with a series of power punches.
The fight, if you want to call it, turned completely one-sided from the 6th round on with Gesta teeing off at will against Barnett, who was rarely punching back from that point on.
In the 9th, Gesta knocked Barnett down after hitting him with nonstop punches for half the round. After he got up, Gesta teed off on Barnett and finished him off with a left hand that knocked Barnett down after the bell.
Overall, Gesta looked good against a very beatable fighter. However, I can’t see Gesta beating any of the current lightweight champions, and it looks like his promoter Bob Arum wants to put Gesta in a title fight in the near future. Ideally, Gesta needs to be matched against some contenders in the division, even if it’s a fringe contender because he’s still very flawed at this point. He got a questionable win over Manuel Perez not long ago and he’s still basically the same fighter that Perez dominated. If Arum throws Gesta in with someone like Miguel Vazquez, I see it going badly for Gesta with him getting out-boxed.
Unbeaten super bantamweight prospect Jessie Magdaleno (11-0, 8 KO’s) defeated Aldimar Santos (16-3, 9 KO’s) by a 2nd round TKO. The southpaw Magdaleno, 20, knocked Santos down at the end of the 1st round after catching him against the ropes and snowing him under with shots until he collapsed. In the 2nd round, Magdaleno again caught Santos up against the ropes and teed off until Santos was hanging on the bottom rope defenseless. The fight was then halted at 2:54 of the round.