Gesta Gifted Split Decision Victory Over Diaz
By William Trillo
Photos: Marlene Marquez
Stepping in to headline the Main Event, lightweights
Joseph Diaz (32-4-1, 15 KO’s) and Mercito Gesta (34-3-3,
17 KO’s) did their very best to give the California fans
a good show, and that they did. With both fighters
possessing rapid punching speed but lacking true KO
power, this was a pillar to post war of attrition that
went the ten-round distance.
Throughout the fight Diaz was coming forward, in fact I
do not recall him taking a backward step. Gesta was
content to be fighting off his back foot and at times
was languishing on the ropes as Diaz was throwing
If effective aggressiveness means anything it appeared
Diaz was doing enough to get himself ahead on the
scorecards after ten rounds. Apparently, that only
impressed one of the judges who scored the fight 97-93
for Diaz. On the other hand the other two judges saw
this fight from different point of view as they scored
the fight conclusively for Gesta with scores of 99-91
and 98-92 respectively.
The Diaz hometown crowd was less than pleased with the
decision rendered. To be honest, the wide difference in
scoring from the judges caught this reporter by surprise
as well. All in all, the fight filled the main event
void very well and both men can be proud of their
“I feel great about the outcome,” said Mercito Gesta.
“We had our game plan and I listened to my corner. It
was a close fight. With Coach Marvin Somodio, I have
learned that I can move around a lot more and I am
excited to have another full training camp with him. If
I were to choose my next opponent, I want William “El
Camarón” Zepeda next.”
Lightweight Alex Martin (18-5, 6 KO’s) had never been
stopped in 22 fights. Enter Oscar Duarte (25-1-1, 20
KO’s), who brought an end to that streak. For seven
rounds Martin used a silk southpaw style to make most of
Duarte’s shots ineffective.
But a relentless attack by Oscar paid dividends in round
eight as a straight right hand buckled a dazed Martin.
Upon rising to his feet Martin was met by another Duarte
right hand. Wobbling on the ropes the ref brought this
one to a halt at the 1:14 mark of round 8. Duarte is one
of the shining stars in The Golden Boy stable. Hopefully
we will be seeing a lot more of him in 2023.
“I feel very happy about this victory,” said Oscar
Duarte. “This is for Parral, Chihuahua and for all the
fans that came out today. We had a great rival in front
of us who had tremendous experience. Being the first
fighter to knock Alex Martin out gives me confirmation
about my abilities and confidence in being able to one
day fight for a world title. This victory tells me that
I have fire in my fists and that I have the power bank
to win a championship.”
A clash of heads in round four turned an already rugged
battle of undefeated prospects into a slugfest. With
blood now streaming down his face Super Welterweight
Eric Tudor (8-0, 6 KO’s) kicked it into high gear and
started to lump up the face of his opponent Damoni
Cato-Cain (7-1-1, 6 KO’s). Rounds five through eight
were a slugfest and testament of wills as neither man
was willing to fall under the power of his adversaries
power shots. After eight brutal rounds judges tallies
read 80-72 and 78-74 twice all in favor of Eric Tudor.
Featherweight Patricio Manuel (2-0) dropped Hien Huynh
(1-2) in round one and then after an accidental headbutt
the fight was stopped. Going to the scorecards Manuel
took a unanimous decision 40-34 on all cards.
Featherweight Dalis Kaleiopu (4-0, 3 KO’s) took a hard
fought decision over Jonathan Perez (40-35, 32 KO’s) in
this six round affair. Along the way Perez was deducted
two points for rabbit punches, which led to very
lopsided scores from the judges.
Featherweight Jorge Chavez (5-0, 4 KO’s) uncorked a
wicked four punch combination on Bryan Perez (12-17-1,
11 KO’s) early in round one and that was all she wrote.
End of story.