De La Hoya believes Gesta will top in division

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – San Diego-based Cebuano boxer Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta is looking to get back to world title contention in the lightweight division.

Standing in his way is Mexican-Argentine warrior Carlos Molina, who is trying to earn another shot at a belt.

“I love boxing,” Gesta said. “I like doing this; this is my passion. But for me, it’s not really pressure. No pressure for me. All I need to do is train and enjoy what I do.”

Molina, whose last two fights were losses to champions Amir Khan and Adrien Broner, admits that he needs to beat Gesta.

“Mercito Gesta is a great fighter. This is a must-win fight for me, to get back in that championship level, fighting with the elite fighters. So this is a must-win fight for me, and we had been training like that,” Molina said.

The two fighters will try to move up the ranks at the Fantasy Springs Casino on April 30, two days before the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather showdown.

“Carlos Molina (is a) tough, tough fighter, but I like challenges like this,” said Gesta. “I want the best fighter out there to challenge my skill. This is a good fight. I’m really excited.”

Less than three years ago, Gesta was one of Top Rank’s top lightweight contenders, but was outclassed by Miguel Vasquez in their 2012 IBF title fight. After suffering a few injuries, he was released by Top Rank.

Gesta’s efforts in 2014 were enough to catch the eye of the “Golden Boy” himself, Oscar De La Hoya.

“I actually always felt highly of Mercito Gesta, and that’s why we’re working with him,” said De La Hoya.

“I believe he has the ability to become a world champion soon. He’s on that level now. He’s a 10-round fighter. He’s one or two steps away from being a world-class fighter,” he added.

The Gesta-Molina showdown will be televised on FOX Sports 1.

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