By Craig Page: Ryan Garcia could be facing former two-time lightweight world title challenger Mercito ‘No Mercy’ Gesta on either January 21st or 28th in a tune-up bout to prepare him for a mega-fight against Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis in April.
Ideally, it would have been better that Ryan takes on a top 10 contender in the lightweight division rather than facing a second-tier fighter like Gesta because this type of opponent won’t prepare the 24-year-old Kingry for Tank Davis in any way.
Lightweight contender Maxi Hughes had been rumored as a potential option for Ryan’s tune-up, but interestingly, the popular Instagram/boxer has selected a Gesta instead.
Ryan Garcia not taking any chances
Choosing Gesta is more of a showcase fight for the Golden Boy-promoted Ryan Garcia, similar to his fights against over-matched, under-talented fighters like Romero Duno, Emmanuel Tagoe, Javier Fortuna, Francisco Fonseca, and Luke Campbell.
The 35-year-old southpaw Gesta (33-3-3, 17 KOs) is past his best years and is no longer ranked in the top 15 at 135. During Gesta’s best years, he’d been viewed by some boxing fans as the next Manny Pacquiao, as he had many elements to his game during his youth that suggested that he was on his way to stardom.
Gesta’s career never rebounded after he was beaten by IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez in 2012, who took the Filipino fighter to school, beating him with ease in a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision. Vazquez toyed with Gesta, making him look silly at times.
Gesta’s other career defeats have come against Jorge Linares and Juan Antonio Rodriguez. He recently beat the hard-hitting Joel Diaz Jr by a 10 round unanimous decision last April.
This was a respectable win for Gesta because Diaz Jr can punch and be seen as a future world champion in the past until he was blown out in two rounds by Regis Prograis in 2017.
Gesta’s win over a still formidable 30-year-old Diaz Jr shows that he could give Ryan Garcia some issues if he can defuse his left hook, which is the only weapon in his limited offensive arsenal.
Given the experience Gesta has coupled with the inflated built-up weak resume of Ryan, there’s a remote possibility of an upset in this fight.
Ryan’s choice of Gesta as his opponent indicates that he’s not taking any chances of him getting beaten before he receives what many boxing fans see as a cash-out fight against Tank Davis in April.
When I say ‘cash-out,’ I mean Ryan getting a big pay and being exposed to the light of day as not a true world-class-level fighter.
Kingry’s career will likely be moved as it had been before after Ryan gets the Tank fight, with him facing lesser opposition and calling out a huge name for another big payday against a quality fighter that he’s nowhere near talented enough to compete with.
Ryan’s tune-up looks bad
In contrast to Ryan’s fight with the fading Gesta, Gervonta Davis is defending his WBA secondary lightweight title against a very talented Hector Luis Garcia on January 7th in Washington, D.C.
It’s fair to say that Hector is the best fighter that Tank will have fought, and he might even upset him.
Regardless of the fight’s outcome, the 28-year-old Gervonta is taking a far more considerable risk with his tune-up than Ryan is by fighting Gesta. Hector Garcia (16-0, 10 KOs) is a 2016 Olympian and a current world champion at super featherweight.
He’s viewed as the #1 fighter in the 130-lb division following his two impressive one-sided decision victories over WBA champion Roger Gutierrez and Chris Colbert in 2022.
Hector likely would handily beat Ryan Garcia if given the chance to fight him because this is a fighter that is well-rounded and has many different skills along with good punching power. In other words, Hector Garcia isn’t an Instagram fighter.