ESPN Mercito Gesta vs Roberto Manzanarez and Manny Robles III vs Edgar Valerio
By Kid Hersh
From Fantasy Springs Resort in Indio California came Golden Boy Promotions GBP on ESPN boxing on a Thursday night.
First up Manny Robles III (15-0, 7KO's) vs Edgar Valerio (13-0, 8KO's). In the first round, Robles looked like the better-schooled fighter as he controlled the distance very well and caught Valerio coming in with jabs. In the second round, Valerio got a little more aggressive and was throwing more punches but was only catching Robles on the shoulders mostly, not flush on the chin as he was head hunting. In the third round Valerio got caught with a left hook by Robles that put him down on his rear. He got up and appeared to shake it off fast but he was falling behind on the cards rather quickly now. Robles went back to easily outboxing Valerio in the coming rounds, as he was beating him to the punch with his quicker hands and also savvier defensively while getting off first offensively. He was pressing Valerio backwards, who was supposed to be the stronger man but it matters not when you are outclassed. Valerio had a good moment in the sixth round, when he caught Robles with a hard left hook to the chin that buckled his legs and sent him backwards. Robles did not hit the canvas - instead hitting his gloves together and willing himself out of the situation while no doubt being in great condition to shake off the hard shot. By the end of the round, Robles was back to pressing his man backwards and outboxing him but he was in big danger again in the seventh round when he was caught with a big right hand early in the round that buckled his legs once again, causing him to fall back into the ropes but once again his great conditioning and toughness showed as he weathered the storm only to come back at the end of the round once again, just like in the sixth round. He is quite the warrior! It was too much for his father to handle, who moved away from everyone and to the back of the lower seating area. In the ninth round we had ourselves a contender for the round of the year as Robles was stalking Valerio, who was looking for one single big punch still, and Robles knocked his man down with a right hand. Valerio rose only to nail Robles with a left hook that wobbled his legs. Both men were digging extremely deep, as Robles went back in for the kill and got caught yet again but pushed straight through it to stop Valerio with not much time left in the round as Valerio was fairly helpless on the ropes. Wow, what a fight!
Mercito Gesta (31-2-2, 1KO's) vs Roberto Manzanarez (35-1, 28KO's). Gesta started the fight off by countering Manzanarez. Before long he was pressing forward, using good head movement, and getting his punches off first on Manzanarez who appeared to be very green and unsure of what to do. Gesta was working his way inside and Manzanarez was not able to get any leverage on his shots, not landing much from range and when he was his hands did not appear to have the power that his knockout record indicates. It wasn't until the second half of the fight, just starting in the fifth round, that Manzanarez was able to have any success. In the sixth round, it looked like a combination of Gesta getting a bit tired and complacent combined with Manzanarez perhaps finding his range just a bit that caused him to finally have some success in the fight. Going down the stretch it was back and forth, sometimes hard to pick between one fighter or the other. Gesta seems to get unseated like this at times, it seems like his MO that either guys figure him out, he gets tired, or he takes a hit mentally because he always seems to have a good start but then goes downhill for no apparent reason. The cards came in after 10 rounds 95-95, 96-94 X2 for Gesta.