Perhaps the most interesting Manny Pacquiao vs.Juan Manuel Marquez undercard fight is the IBF lightweight title bout between champion Miguel Vazquez and Mercito Gesta.
Vazquez, 25, is the defender in this one and he isn't known as one of the most exciting fighters in the lightweight division. However, he is efficient and does fight well in both his offensive and defensive approaches.
Gesta has drawn a big buzz and is being pushed onto this card due to the Mexico vs. Phillipines main event between Pacquiao and Marquez. The biggest question is whether or not the quick-striking southpaw is up to the challenge posed by the champ.
Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV
When: Saturday, Dec. 8 at 9:00 p.m. ET
Watch: Pay-Per-View ($59.95 for standard definition; $69.95 for high definition)
Live Stream: TopRank.com
|32-3-0 (13 KOs)||Record||26-0-1 (14 KOs)|
Courtesy of Boxrec.com
Vazquez's Keys to Victory
Vazquez has the ability to control fights with his bigger frame and lengthy reach. His ability to move about the ring and press his offense on Gesta will be key to him countering the quick and precise punches of the challenger.
Going in with the mindset to knock out Gesta isn't the best idea. Power and precision favor the challenger, so keeping the fight at a distance and controlling the ring will be the biggest key for him.
Gesta's Keys to Victory
In order to score the upset, Gesta is going to need to unleash a flurry of punches and somehow find a way to knock out the champion. Vazquez is too technically sound and versed in dealing with strikers of Gesta's kind.
Also, "No Mercy" will need to help himself out by cutting out Vazquez's ability to pick and choose his places. That type of ring control isn't unheard of for Gesta, but it will definitely be the biggest challenge for the challenger.
What They Are Saying
Vazquez has been relatively quiet leading up to this title defense. The same can't be said for the challenger and his crew.
Gesta's trainer and co-manager Vince Parra told BoxingScene.com that their camp is confident the undefeated Filipino southpaw will dominate Vazquez and win the IBF lightweight title, according to Ronnie Nathanielsz:
We expect victory. The plan is aggressive obviously, and we're looking at taking this fight one round at a time, dominating each round. We are looking to make an entertaining fight and come out on top by decision of by knockout.
Parra had some words of advice for Vazquez as well, according to Mike Coppinger, a boxing contributor to USA Today Sports (via Twitter):
Gesta's trainer Vince Parra says he wants Vazquez to come to them and fight like a Mexican. #boxing— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) December 6, 2012
Gesta is too raw and untested despite his undefeated record. Vazquez will use his body, quick striking and reach to keep the quick punches of the challenger at bay. It might not be the most entertaining fight of the night, but it will be a technical demonstration of dominance by the champ.
Vazquez wins via unanimous decision