Rising Star Ernesto “Tito” Mercado Q & A

By William Trillo

Every once in a while a fighter comes along that immediately gets your attention. Sometimes it’s the way he moves in the ring. Other times it’s because he possesses impressive KO power. In the case of Ernesto “Tito” Mercado (6-0, 6 KO’s), it’s both. This young fighter has all the tools to become a top contender.

This Thursday in Costa Mesa California Mercado will once again display his wares. We were fortunate enough to catch up with “Tito” to find out more about him and his plans for what should be a very promising career.

Pound4Pound: The first time we saw you fight was t at the Commerce Casino. Our writer is very knowledgeable about boxing, he keeps what he calls “The List”. Basically, his list is for fighters he feels are going to be future stars. On that night you knocked a guy like in 30 seconds or something crazy. Hour writer said of you immediately, “this guy’s going on my list”. We already had you kind of pegged as a budding star just off that quick performance alone. So, here we are.

Ernesto Mercado: That’s dope to hear that.

P4P: I’m going to jump into your amateur career. Tell me, I know you have a ridiculous amount of fights there, like 200 plus, tell me what your record is and a bit about your amateur career.

EM: Yeah, I had over 300 amateur fights.

P4P: Over 300. Okay!

EM: Yeah, my amateur record was about 290 and 11. And that included 22-time national champion, I was an international gold medalist and the 2020 US Olympic alternate, as well as the representative for the Olympics. Unfortunately, I was able to represent. A lot of boxing happened when I was little, really lost a lot of those fights when I was young.

P4P: You have 100% KO ratio right now. I know amateur and pro was completely different. Were you knocking people out back then, towards the end of your amateur career? What was going on then?

EM: Not really, you know, like you said, amateurs way different, a lot more fast paced. I was getting a lot of eight counts and TKOs.

P4P: Did you know or did your people know that when you transfered it over to Pro that you were gonna start dropping people at 100% clip?

EM: No, you know, that’s something that we kind of, grew into, I think maybe once I turned about 18, 19, I felt, I started feeling the power a little bit more. And, you know, we just hope for the best because there’s a lot of guys out there that couldn’t crack an egg. So, I’m definitely happy that I was blessed with that.

P4P: When it comes to boxing I am Old School, I like to see somebody with a hefty amateur background. You know, a lot of these guys nowadays, they have 10 fights, maybe they win eight, and they think they’re gonna be a world champions. It just doesn’t equate. I mean how rare is that? So, to see a guy with 300 fights, it makes a big difference once you turn yourself over into the professional ranks in my opinion.

EM: Yes, 100%. From a little kid. I was at local shows every single weekend, every single tournament, and I’m glad I was able to do all those things. And God blessed me with opportunity because now I’m able to go in the ring and I see it all, so I’m able to adapt anything.

P4P: This is going to be your fourth fight this year. That’s almost unheard of anymore. Maybe guys fight twice a year. You’ve had three knockouts this year, you’re working on number four. A lot of guys don’t even want to fight four fights in a year.

EM: This is gonna be my seventh fight in exactly a year. So, you know, we were trying to get another fight earlier on in June. But unfortunately, I think because COVID we were unable to get that fight. So, that one canceled. We’re trying to get five fights this year, but we’re aiming for another two or three more fights this year. I definitely like to stay active. I think that’s one of the biggest things for a young prospect. And I don’t see any of the fighters fighting as active as I am right now.

P4P: That’s basically fighting every other month, which again, is unheard of even, I mean, with top guys with up and comers, whatever, fighting every other month, or on a pace like that is pretty impressive. So good for you. You have fight Thursday. Tell us about that. And do you know who your opponent is yet? It looks like you’re fighting an eighth rounder, I think that’s the first time. What’s going on there?

EM: I am not still 100% sure. You know how these things go. A lot of these fighters sometimes play a little bit of games, but we’re almost closing in up on it. I am hoping to go a little bit more rounds. But if the knockout presents itself again, I’m gonna go and take it. I’m hoping to go a couple more rounds, just to throw myself out there and get a little more comfortable in there.

P4P: That’s awesome. You’re still young in your career and it’s hard to predict what direction you’re gonna go over the coming year. Do you guys have a game plan right now? Or are you just kind of feeling out, testing the waters and then see what develops from there? Or do you have something written down?

EM: I’m fighting all my fights in Southern California, building my fan base here. So that’s definitely been fun. But as far as my plans go, right now, we’re trying to bracket a lot more fights, you know, hopefully two more this year and have some type of regional belt within the next year.

P4P: It’s the best game plan in my opinion. Get a regional belt, get your face out there and next thing, you know, you’re on Fox, or ESPN. Maybe a semi main event, and boom, then it goes from there. I’m sure that’s kind of what you’re looking to do.

EM: My immediate goal right now is just to get the fights in and just wipe everybody out. The promoter stuff, that it will come. But as of now, I’m happy being free agent. And hopefully, we’re able to get some momentum and have some type of belt by the end of the year.

P4P: Cool. All right. Well, like I told you, we’ve seen you a couple of times. But it’s 30 seconds and the fights are over. So, I don’t know if I can ask you for a little more time the next time I see you, but that’ll be nice.

EM: Everybody that did buy tickets, they say can we see you in the second round. I said I’m gonna try.

P4P: Right. Yes, we want to see more of your skills Tito.

EM: Yeah, no, just it’s so hard man. Because like I said, it’s not like I’m looking for the quick knockout. But if my shot hurts you I’m gonna take you out. A lot of times guys make that mistake, sometimes letting fighters live and then they come back to take over the fight. That’s something that I’m not willing to take a chance on.

P4P: Right, there’s two kinds of fighters when they get somebody hurt. Ones that really want to take the fight a little bit longer for whatever reason, or they’re just not finishers.

EM: Exactly. There’s not a lot of finishers in the sport of boxing anymore, at least not like back in the days. I think that’s gonna be something that a lot of people are gonna want to see me again, because I am a finisher.

P4P: Absolutely, that makes you different than all the rest of the guys and somebody special that we need to see. I am glad I finally got to talk to you. I wish you the best on Thursday. And hopefully we can hook up again and go from there.

EM: Yes of course. Thank you.

Check out www.Pound4Pound.com for all the latest boxing news.

Comments are closed.