GERRY COONEY, BOXING’S MOST BELOVED HEAVYWEIGHT FIGHTER, IS SET AS THE SPECIAL VIP GUEST AT FANTASY SPRINGS RESORT CASINO ON APRIL 21
THE JOEL DIAZ JR. VS. MERCITO GESTA CARD FEATURES TOP SOCAL BOXING PROSPECTS, LIVE ON DAZN
Boxing’s most beloved heavyweight fighter, Gerry Cooney is set as the special VIP Guest at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on the April 21st fight card. The event features Golden Boy returning to its Coachella Valley home and is headlined by Palmdale’s Joel Diaz, Jr. (26-2, 22 KOs) and San Diego’s Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (32-3-3, 17 KOs) in a 10-round super lightweight battle. The co-main event of the night Jousce “Tito” Gonzalez (11-0-1, 10 KOs) from Glendora, CA, will face Jairo Lopez (27-14, 17 KOs) of Apodaca, Mexico in an 8-round lightweight bout. Also on the card, San Diego’s top prospect Jorge Chavez (1-0, 1 KOs) is scheduled for a 4-round super featherweight fight. Undefeated prospect Manuel Flores (11-0, 8 KOs) of Coachella, CA, will take on the experienced Victor Ruiz (23-12, 16 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico in an 8-round super bantamweight fight. Also, part of the DAZN broadcast, Los Cabos, Mexico’s Jan Salvatierra (7-1, 3 KOs) will participate in a 6-round flyweight event, and Hawaii’s Asa Stevens (2-0, 1 KOs) is scheduled for a 4-round bantamweight bout. All the fights will be streamed live, exclusively, on DAZN worldwide starting at 6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET.
Best known for his epic battles against George Foreman and Larry Holmes, Gerry Cooney challenged for the WBC and Lineal Heavyweight World Championship titles in 1982 and the Lineal Heavyweight World Championship in 1987. The heavy-handed, Cooney compiled a professional record of 28 wins and 3 losses, with 24 knockouts and not one of his fights ever went the distance. He is currently ranked number 53 on The Ring’s list of “100 Greatest Punchers of All Time” and according to George Foreman, Gerry Cooney was one of the three hardest punchers he had faced in his career. As the VIP guest, Cooney will be in attendance for the fights and will be on hand to meet fans, sign autographs and take pictures inside the Fantasy Springs Special Events Center before the DAZN livestream begins. The meet-and-greet is open to the public with the purchase of a ticket to the event.
Joel Diaz, Jr. (26-2, 22 KOs) and San Diego’s Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (32-3-3, 17 KOs) hosted a media workout today ahead of their 10-round lightweight fight on Thursday, April 21st at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, CA. Also in attendance was undefeated prospect Manuel Flores (11-0, 8 KOs) of Coachella, CA, who is set to face the veteran Victor Ruiz (23-12, 16 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico in an 8-round super bantamweight fight.
The card will feature other Southern California prospect fighters including Jousce “Tito” Gonzalez (11-0-1, 10 KOs) from Glendora, CA, taking on Jairo Lopez (27-14, 17 KOs) of Apodaca, Mexico in an 8-round co-main lightweight bout. Also on the card, San Diego’s top prospect Jorge Chavez (1-0, 1 KOs) is scheduled for a 4-round super featherweight fight against Miguel Marquez (0-2) from Phoenix, AZ. Finally, Los Cabos, Mexico’s Jan Salvatierra (7-1, 3 KOs) will participate in a 6-round flyweight event against Ernie Marquez (10-17-2, 3 KOs) of Fort Morgan, CO. The fights will be streamed live on DAZN worldwide and also on the Golden Boy Boing YouTube channel starting at 6:00 p.m. PT / 9:00 p.m. ET.
Below are what the fighter’s had to say about their upcoming fights.
JOEL DIAZ, JR, LIGHTWEIGHT CONTENDER:
“I feel on top of the world headlining a card on Golden Boy and DAZN. This is a big opportunity for me and I will make sure to take advantage of it.
“I have some unfinished business at 135. I went up to 140 because a had a good opportunity but I do feel like I still have a lot to do at 135. This weight is comfortable for me, and I want to continue where I left off.
“I do have to make a statement against Mercito Gesta to show who Joel Diaz, Jr. is. Inside of the ring you will see the brawler but we are going to be more patient and be ready to go the distance. I have a new trainer. I have new skills and I am ready to put those skills on display during this fight.”
MERCITO GESTA, LIGHTWEIGHT CONTENDER:
“I think my experience will give me the edge on this fight. I need to be smart and use my experience and speed to be able to secure the victory on Thursday.
“It’s a great comeback fight for me and for him as well. I know we have both been off for a while but I have kept myself busy, kept training to stay in shape.
“I have fought hard-hitting guys in the past. I have fought pressure fighters. When I faced Oscar Mesa he was also a hard puncher, a knock-out fighter, but I won that fight. So, it’s not new to me, I am used to this type of fighter. I feel confident in my abilities and fans will see that on Thursday night.
“I do believe that if I give a good performance on Thursday I will be put up on the list of the lightweight division and hopefully get bigger fights. I have been working very hard everyday even though I didn’t have a fight scheduled. I wanted to stay busy and stay in shape. Hopefully all the training and sparring will pay off and I will do very well on Thursday.”
MANUEL FLORES, BANTAMWEIGHT PROSPECT:
“This is going to be my second fight this year, but the first time in my hometown since 2015 when I was still in the amateurs. It’s a blessing to be able to have the support of my friends and family here in the Coachella Valley. I am now able to showcase my skills as a professional.
“My opponent has a lot of experience and I have made sure to prepare for it. I know he is a south paw so we have selected sparring partners that are lefties so I can have an idea of what it will be like to face someone like him.
“I want to get in as many fights as I can this year and staying active. I like that these shows are at Fantasy Springs, there is a big boxing fan base here.”
Tickets for Diaz Jr. vs. Gesta are on sale now, Friday, March 25, 2022 at 10 a.m. PT. Tickets are priced at $45, $35 and $25 plus applicable facility fees and service charges. Tickets are available at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino box office, by calling 1-800-827-2946, or by purchasing online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com.
Diaz, Jr. vs. Gesta is a 10-round super lightweight fight presented by Golden Boy. The fight is sponsored by
The fight will take place on Thursday, April 21 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, CA, and will be streamed live worldwide on DAZN.