FILIPINO Mercito Gesta primed himself up for a possible world title shot following an impressive ninth round technical knockout of Ty Barnett Friday (Saturday, Manila time) in their non-title lightweight match at the Texas Station Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Gesta sent the tall American down to the canvas for the first time with two vicious left hooks in the final 10 seconds of the ninth.
While Barnett managed to get up at the count of eight, the Filipino never let up from there, punishing his opponent with a hail of punches before nailing him down again with a mean left hook just before the bell. With wobbly legs, the Washington native tried to beat the count, but was finally waved off by referee Jay Nady.
Official time was at 2:59 mark of the ninth round.
Gesta, nicknamed 'No Mercy’ and raised in Mandaue, Cebu, but now based in San Diego, California, raised his unbeaten record to 26-0-1, including 13 KOs.
Bob Arum, whose Top Rank Promotions owns the promotional rights on the 24-year-old Filipino, is now planning to line him up for a championship fight with reigning International Boxing Federation lightweight king Miguel Vasquez of Mexico, holder of a 31-3 record, with 13 KOs.
Barnett dropped to 19-4-1 and 12 KOs.
The 10-round fight headlined the ESPN Friday Night Fights.
Former three-division champion Sugar Shane Mosley who was part of the panel, was obviously impressed with Gesta.
“Gesta will go for because he has ring generalship, quick movement, and accurate punches,” said the 40-year-old Pomona, California native, of Gesta.
Gesta will go far because of his ring generalship and quick movement and accurate punches."