Zepeda vs. Gesta = War of will TONIGHT on DAZN

By Jeepers Isaac - 09/16/2023 - Comments

Unbeaten lightweight contender William Zepeda fights the always-tough veteran Mercito Gesta TONIGHT LIVE on DAZN, on the Mexican Independence holiday, at the Commerce Casino & Hotel in Commerce, California.

Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya says the 27-year-old Zepeda (28-0,  24 KOs) is the next Mexican “superstar,” which, if true, would be his answer for the replacement of Canelo Alvarez and potentially Ryan Garcia if he departs Oscar’s company soon.

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Ryan never proved himself as a superstar inside the ring like Canelo did. So if Zepeda can be the next flagship fighter for Golden Boy, that would be impressive because he’s charismatic and he’s humble.  He’s not someone who would likely make a big deal if Oscar didn’t show up at his post-fight press conference.

For Zepeda to be the next superstar, he’s going to need to shine against the 35-year-old southpaw “No Mercy” Gesta (34-3-3, 17 KOs), knocking him out or pitching a twelve round shutout.

That’s not going to be easy because Gesta is a wily veteran with power, hand speed, and ring IQ that many fighters in the lightweight don’t possess. Zepeda can’t afford to get caught by one of Gesta’s left hands flush because it would be ‘goodnight, Irene.’

Gesta was a guy that De La Hoya wanted Ryan Garcia to use as a tune-up to get ready for his fight with Gervonta Davis last April, in hindsight. Ryan made the right move by not fighting Gesta because, with how he looked in his last two fights against Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz and Joel Diaz, he would have beaten Kingry.

There’s little chance that Ryan would have been able to take the heavy body shots from Gesta without taking a knee and being counted out like we saw in his loss to Tank Davis.

William Zepeda the next Mexican superstar

“We’re excited that William Zepeda can take over this Mexican Independence Day holiday, which is traditional, important to keep it alive,” said Oscar De La Hoya to ESNEWS about the talented young lightweight contender William Zepeda, who is battling Mercito Gesta in the headliner.

This is the next superstar from Mexico, William Zepeda. He’s in tough with Gesta. It’s not going to be an easy fight,” De La Hoya continued. “It’s not a cakewalk, but we feel this date, September 16th, is made for wars. It’s made for two warriors inside the ring to give it your all.”

It’s definitely not going to be easy for Zepeda to win this fight, particularly if he’s just looking to score a quick knockout. Gesta isn’t the type of fighter that you walk forward, looking to KO him. He’ll take advantage of Zepeda’s aggressiveness to land a lot of his own shots, which are more powerful.

“Gesta throws so many punches, and William is a machine.  So it’s going to be a war of will,”  said De La Hoya.

Zepeda ranked high

“We’re ranked #1 in the world with the WBA, and we know there’s a certain individual [Devin Haney] that has the titles holed up & tied up,  so we’re planning to see,” said Zepeda’s head trainer Jacob Najar to Golden Boy Boxing, talking about Devin Haney holding the titles at lightweight still.

“I know another organization [WBC] just ordered him to fight with another great fighter to fight. So, we’re waiting for the WBA to tell us and Golden Boy.”

It’s likely that undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney won’t be returning to the division after his next fight against WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis on December 9th.

So there’s a good chance the World Boxing Association will strip Haney if he doesn’t do the right thing by vacating his WBA 135-lb title. When the title is freed up, Zepeda can fight for it against the highest-ranked available contender, which is currently Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz.

‘We’re letting our team do their work. Colors & corners don’t make you win fights. It’s what you do in the gym previous to the fight. Three times, we went as the B-side, and we came out as the A-side, and we’re looking forward to continuing to do so,”  said Najar.

“We’re ready; we’re very happy and motivated that Gesta gave us this opportunity to fight,” said Zepeda. “I know this will be a great fight. I have seen his fights. He’s very active in the ring.

“From what I have heard, he shows discipline, and I’m sure we will give a great fight. The fans will end up winners once again when Mexico & the Philippines collide in the ring again and for the 135-lb class. Don’t miss it because I am here. Don’t sleep on me,”  said Zepeda.

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Offical Weigh In:


William Zepeda 134.2 vs. Mercito Gesta 134.2
Yokasta Valle 105 vs. Maria Santizo 104.2
Victor Morales 126 vs. Edwin Palomares 125.4
Darius Fulghum 170.8 vs. Ricardo Luna 170.8
Eric Priest 159.8 vs. Simon Madsen 158.6
Daniel Garcia 132 vs. Erick Benitez 131.6
Alejandro Reyes 139.6 vs. Roberto Gomez 140