MANILA, Philippines – Filipino lightweight prospect Mercito "“No Mercy" Gesta continued his rise to world title contention after knocking out Columbian foe Oscar Cuero in the eighth round of their match Saturday night in Las Vegas (Sunday morning in Manila).
Gesta knocked down Cuero in the seventh round after a strong body shot, and again in the eighth after a right to the head. Cuero was able to beat the count, but referee Robert Byrd stopped the bout at the 1:38 mark.
Gesta remains undefeated with a record of 25 wins, no loss and one draw. It is his 13th knockout victory in his career.
The Gesta-Cuero bout was the opening match of the Brandon Rios-Richard Abril event.
Gesta, a native of Cebu, was aggressive right from the opening bell, but Cuero was not willing to engage and opted to back away from Gesta most of the night.
Cuero was also penalized for excessive holding in the fifth round.
Top Rank president Todd DuBoef previously said that Gesta is "knocking on the title's door."
Gesta had offered to fight in the main event of the fight against Rios after his original opponent, Yuri Gamboa, opted to back out. But Abril was chosen to replace Gamboa and Gesta kept his spot in the event opener.