An established champion defending his title against a talented, rising contender generally makes for a compelling fight. Miguel Vazquez’s IBF lightweight title defense against Mercito Gesta on Saturday’s Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez undercard figures to offer such intrigue.
Vazquez-Gesta is one of three interesting undercard bouts in support of Pacquiao and Marquez’s fourth encounter. With the likes of Yuriorkis Gamboa and Javier Fortuna also appearing in separate bouts, Vazquez-Gesta should offer a combination of competitive action and tactical boxing.
But how will the fight unfold? And who holds the edge?
Vazquez (32-3, 13 KO) is a rangy boxer who is more about substance than flash. While he lacks power, Vazquez employs sustained movement, an active jab and clubbing shots to outmaneuver his opponent. That said, Vazquez struggled in his most recent title defense against Marvin Quintero.
So, is the IBF champion vulnerable?
Gesta (26-0-1, 14 KO) undoubtedly brings more power to the ring. The Filipino contender is adept at fighting in the pocket, and he hooks well and throws sharp uppercuts from his southpaw stance. However, Gesta has fought a limited level of opposition and has defensive deficiencies.
In analyzing Vazquez-Gesta, ring generalship immediately springs to mind as one of the fight’s crucial tactical elements. Will Gesta be able to effectively cut off the ring and get inside? Or will Vazquez be able to avoid Gesta’s power shots with movement and box his way to a decision from the outside?
Vazquez has obviously proven himself at the championship level. Still, Gesta has an abundance of natural ability and has developed his power since turning professional at 16. Whether Gesta can avoid defensive lapses and work his way past Vazquez’s jab will also prove telling.
With that, let’s find out exactly what to expect—including a prediction—when Vazquez and Gesta enter the ring.