By Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
September 11, 2013
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – After 28 fights, with 26 wins and a loss in an IBF lightweight title fight, Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta was let go by one of the biggest boxing promoters of all time: Top Rank.
“I was certainly disappointed. I had a lot of hope for Gesta. That’s why we signed him. He didn’t materialize and so we decided to give him a release because there was really nothing more that we can figure to do with him,” Top Rank’s Bob Arum said of the 26-year-old Cebuano native.
“I mean he is a nice boy, he is a good fighter. We wish him well. But we did whatever we could for him. We got him the title fight that he wanted but he couldn’t produce.”
Gesta’s fight against Miguel Vasquez was the co-main event of Pacquiao-Marquez IV at the MGM Grand last December. However, Gesta lost that fight.
“When we signed Mercito Gesta that was a gamble but it was a reasonable gamble. It didn’t work out but sometimes it doesn’t work out. Maybe with another promoter, maybe with other trainer, he’ll do better,” said Arum.
Gesta’s poor performance during the co-main event was his shot at a world title, according to Arum, adding that he believes Gesta gave it his all during his last fight.
“He was always nice to promote. He was very cooperative. He just couldn’t come through when we needed him to come through,” he said.
Arum stressed that Top Rank is not completely closing its doors for a future contract but added that Gesta needs to prove himself.
Balitang America made multiple attempts to contact Gesta’s camp but was unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, Arum was saddened for another former Top Rank boxer, Mark Jason Melligen, who was arrested for possession of an illegal substance during a drug bust in Mandaue City, Philippines. “We like Melligen. He was a good guy. He was a good fighter. He tried very very hard. We thought he would progress as well. We thought he could really be a contender. It happened that he fell short,” the veteran promoter said.
“The fact that he resorted to drug trafficking is reprehensible and I can’t support him for doing something like that,” he stressed.
Melligen’s distressing loss to Sebastian Lujan at a world title shot in 2011 resulted in him being homeless. He also went through financial woes.