William Zepeda of Mexico (28-0, 24 KOs), the unbeaten lightweight, will take on Mercito Gesta of the Philippines (34-3-3, 17 KOs) Saturday, September 16 at the Commerce Casino in Commerce, California.
The Mexican knockout artist, age 27, will get the chance to showcase his skills and spiteful punch power against the more experienced Gesta.
Cheered on by his fans in Los Angeles, the Mexican native will be looking to make an emphatic statement to the rest of the lightweight division.
Fighting on Mexican Independence Day will give Zepeda added motivation to send his loyal fans home happy with another reason to celebrate.
Zepeda is the big favorite coming into the contest as he holds all the physical advantages over his 35-year-old Filipino opponent.
William Zepeda vs Mercito Gesta Contrasted
Standing at 5-9, “El Cameron” Zepeda holds a two-inch height advantage and a longer reach of 1.6 inches at 69.7 compared to “No Mercy” Gesta’s 68.1 inches.
Both fighters fight out of the southpaw stance. Whoever can take the initiative and control the lead foot battle will have a better chance of success.
Looking at the stats, it is clear Zepeda is the bigger puncher, as he has registered 24 knockouts in his 28 fights.
That gives him an 86% knockout percentage compared to Gesta’s 50%.
Gesta has only been stopped once, but given Zepeda’s punching power and Gesta’s advancing age, is it a question of when, not if?
This fight will see two skilled southpaw fighters collide which will no doubt be an entertaining scrap.
The Mexican Jackhammer
William Zepeda tends to fight off a high guard. However, once he is in position the Mexican jackhammer gets to work.
His record may suggest he is a big puncher, but his work rate and volume punching are equally as effective.
Zepeda’s victory over JoJo Diaz demonstrated this, with him throwing 1536 punches, breaking the CompuBox record for a lightweight contest.
He landed a record-high 787 jabs, a CompuBox record, demonstrating his technical prowess and that he cannot be dismissed as purely a big puncher.
Mercito Gesta Traits
Mercito Gesta likes to overwhelm his opponents by cutting off the ring and combining speed and power punches to overcome them.
His unique fighting style of bouncing off his back feet before springing to the inside to unleash counter lefts and uppercuts will be key if he is to disrupt the rhythm of Zepeda.
This was seen most notably in his unanimous decision win over Joel Diaz Jr.
He started fast, dropping his opponent twice in the first round before claiming a very impressive unanimous decision win.
Will Gesta be able to implement this game plan against the bigger, more powerful opponent?
Or will Zepeda walk him down and unleash devasting fast and powerful combinations to stop Gesta in his tracks?
Both Fought Jo Jo Diaz
Both fighters' biggest victory comes over a mutual opponent, former IBF super featherweight champion Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr.
Zepeda claimed a unanimous decision over Diaz, whereas Gesta won in an upset victory via a split decision.
Zepeda’s ascent up the rankings ladders of all governing bodies is pushing him into world title contention, meaning he can't afford any slip-ups on Saturday night.
He can't afford to overlook his opponent no matter what fights lay in the distance.
Similarly, Gesta has another chance to cause a second big upset in as many fights and push himself into the title picture.
The lightweight division is one of the most stacked in world boxing, hosting some of the most exciting fighters at the moment from undisputed champion Devin Haney to Gervonta Davis and Shakur Stevenson to name a few.
Prediction For William Zepeda vs Mercito Gesta
A statement victory will edge William Zepeda closer to these marquee fights where we’ll see how he copes with elite fighters in the division.
I expect Zepeda to carry on his winning run, his punch output, footwork, and punch power will ultimately lead to him breaking down and stopping Gesta inside the distance.
A victory over Mercito Gesta will enable William Zepeda to continue his upward trajectory towards the summit of the lightweight division.
Once he is in the ring with the division's best, Zepeda will be able to show why he is one of the most exciting Mexican fighters in boxing.