By Joseph Herron: On the undercard of the Pacquiao/Marquez IV PPV event, Miguel Vazquez (32-3, 13 KOs) successfully defended his 135 pound title by outpointing previously undefeated contender Mercito Gesta (26-1-1, 14 KOs) for twelve uneventful rounds. The judges at ringside scored the contest 117-111, 119-109, and 118-110, unanimously in favor of the reigning champ.
Throughout every round of the IBF Championship Lightweight contest, the incumbent title holder did a brilliant job of landing his left land and moving away from Gesta’s power punch. He seemed to outbox the tough Filipino prospect with ease while connecting the occasional straight right hand.
While Gesta attempted to lure the Mexican title holder into standing in the pocket and trading punches by occasionally taunting him, the intelligent and crafty champion was content boxing beautifully from the outside.
Against a slippery mover like Miguel Vazquez, Mercito Gesta should have adopted a Pawel Wolak blanket approach and smothered the slick fighter from start to finish. But Gesta, traditionally a slow starter, allowed Vazquez to dictate the pace of the fight from the opening bell and did very little effective movement to close the distance between the two fighters.
Whenever the Filipino fighter was successful in cutting off the ring, Vazquez showed his intelligence by tying up his opponent on the inside or slipping under and around Gesta’s offensive range.
Leading into this bout, Mercito Gesta looked to be ready for championship gold, knocking out fourteen of his 27 opponents. Unfortunately for Gesta, who had been clamoring for a major title opportunity, Miguel Vazquez was the only Top Rank fighter who possessed gold in the Lightweight division and was presented with very few alternative options at 135 pounds.
Miguel Vazquez did his most proficient Yuri Foreman impression in the ring and didn’t dazzle the crowd in attendance, but the Mexican pugilist put on a technical clinic and really proved that he belongs among the elite of the Lightweight division. Because of how awkward Vazquez fights, he would give any of the major title holders in the talented 135 pound weight class trouble.
Although there won’t be much demand for a championship fight with Adrien Broner or Ricky Burns after Vazquez’s uninspiring but impressive victory over Mercito Gesta, the slippery Mexican fighter would give any opponent serious issues at this stage in his career.