Tonight: Zepeda vs. Gesta LIVE on DAZN

By Boxing News - 09/16/2023 - Comments

By Craig Daly: Lightweight contender William Zepeda faces the dangerous veteran Mercito Gesta in the twelve round main event tonight, in a fight that is expected to have fireworks from start to finish at the Commerce Casino, in Commerce,  California. The Zepeda vs. Gesta event will be shown live on DAZN beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET. Zepeda & Gesta are expected to fight 11-ish.

The 20-year pro Gesta (34-3-3, 17 KOs) is still dangerous at 35, with superior hand speed & power to the 27-year-old Zepeda. What Gesta doesn’t possess is the high punch output that Zepeda has, and that could make it tough if he stands in front of him for prolonged periods.

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Gesta has too much experience to be stationary against Zepeda, and it should be interesting to see whether he can hand the Mexican fighter his first career defeat.

Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya is hoping to position Zepeda (28-0, 24 KOs) for one of the four lightweight belts currently held by champion Devin Haney once the sanctioning bodies begin stripping the belts from him due to his having moved up to 140.

Thus far, Haney hasn’t relinquished them, but they’ll be taken eventually once it’s clear he has no intentions of returning to the division.

In the chief support bout, featherweight Victor Morales (18-0-1, 9 KOs) battles Edwin “Pupo” Palomares (18-4-2, 9 KOs) in a contest scheduled for ten rounds.

Zepeda is a relentless machine

“The 135-lb division is red-hot right now. Obviously, you have the top dog there, Devin Haney, who is possibly moving up to 140,” said Oscar  De LaHoya to Fight Hub TV.

“We’ll have to see what the organizations want to do. The WBA, WBC, IBF, all that. We’ll have to figure that out after this fight, but Gesta is one of those young veterans who has been in the sport for so long.

“He keeps winning. He just came off a great win with JoJo Diaz, but he’s a young veteran,” said De La Hoya.

Gesta looked outstanding, defeating Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz and Joel Diaz recently, showing excellent boxing skills and power. De La Hoya could regret matching Zepeda against Gesta if he loses this fight.

This is a risky one for the Mexican native Zepeda, who has been maneuvered like a chess piece by Oscar, keeping him away from killers like Shakur Stevenson.

If Gesta had the seasoning he has now earlier in his career, he would have never lost to IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez in 2012.

“I keep saying, ‘Young veteran’ because he doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke, he takes care of his body and is always in the gym,” said De La Hoya about Gesta. “I’m not sure how old he is, but he’s not old. There are fighters that are young, but they’re old because they’ve taken so much of a toll on their body.

“He’s a young fighter out for blood. It’s going to be a great test, a tough fight, but I think William Zepeda is out there to make a statement. He throws punches in bunches; he’s aggressive.

“William is a relentless machine. So, I think we’re going to get one of those classic fights come Saturday,” said De La Hoya.

If Zepeda loses to Gesta, De La Hoya will need to double his efforts at matching him carefully moving forward. The good news is that there will soon be an additional three belts that will be freed up once the sanctioning bodies begin stripping Haney of them, so Zepeda can still pick one up, even if he loses to Gesta, as long as he doesn’t face the wrong guy.

Gesta has power

“It’s not only a good fight, it’s an excellent fight, a good opportunity for me to prove why I’m here,”  said  William  Zepeda to ESNEWS when asked about his thoughts on his fight with Mercito Gesta.

“You ask me what I think about that fight. It’s going to be a good fight. I have to watch out for his power, and he has to watch out for the excessive amount of punches that I throw,” said Zepeda.

Gesta has more than enough power to defeat Zepeda, but the only question is whether he can hold up under his high onslaught of punches.

“Canelo is a strong fighter, an experienced fighter, and still a young fighter. If Charlo wants to win, he needs to train his butt off and prove why he needs to win and go out and give it a go,”  said Zepeda.

“It’s very interesting for the 135-lb division. Shakur is a very smart fighter,  he’s a very moving fighter, and De La Santos is a fighter that depends on his power, but I think Shakur outboxes him,” Zepeda said when asked about the November 16th fight between Shakur Stevenson and Edwin De Los Santos.

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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