Cebuano world title contender Mercito "No Mercy" Gesta came up short against Venezuelan World Boxing Association (WBA) world lightweight champion Jorge "El Niño de Oro" Linares in their 12-round world title duel yesterday at The Forum in Inglewood, California, USA.
Meanwhile, Linares improved to 44-3.
The 30-year-old Filipino never got untracked in the fight which the champion from Venezuela dominated from the third round onwards to win by unanimous decision, 118-110, 118-110, 117-111.
He chipped away at Gesta's defences during the first five rounds here, before upping his attack in the middle rounds, landing some powerful combinations in the seventh. Linares had blood sprinkle from his right eye in the eighth round, but it did not affect him. "But I hurt my hand in the fourth or fifth round". He was already fighting in the United States for five years under Top Rank, and appeared poised to become the Philippines' next big star when he was matched against IBF world lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez on the undercard of the Pacquiao-Marquez fourth encounter on December 8, 2016 in Las Vegas.
Kiram, who was fighting outside of Thailand for the first time, used his left jab well in the early rounds but couldn't land anything with power.
Linares is hoping this victory puts him in line for a unification fight against Mikey Garcia or a battle with Ukrainian champion and 2017 fighter of the year Vasyl Lomachenko.
In the main event of an HBO Boxing "Boxing After Dark" Telecast, we saw a slow-paced main event as lesser-known Lucas Matthysse (39-4 36KOs) knocked out Tewa Kiram (38-1 28KOs) in a fight Matthysse lost every round up until the fateful stoppage in the eighth round.
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