ESPN Friday Night Fights is back tonight at 10 p.m. EDT, with lightweight prospect Mercito Gesta in the main event, facing Ty Barnett. In the co-feature, super featherweight Mickey Bey takes on Robert Frankel.
The show will be live on ESPN2 and streaming at ESPN3.com.
Gesta (25-0-1, 13 KO) is a Filipino whose prospect status sort of depends upon whom you ask. At 24, he's still got a lot of time to develop. His supporters will point to his undefeated record, power that is probably a bit better than his knockout percentage would indicate, good physical tools, and, well, "the look." Gesta looks like a possible star fighter. Detractors will point to the likelihood that Manny Pacquiao comparisons do him no favors whatsoever. Personally, I'd also throw in that his 1B influence seems to be Roy Jones Jr, and that never turns out well.
Gesta last fought on April 14, stopping badly overmatched Oscar Cuero on the Top Rank PPV from Vegas.
Barnett (20-2-1, 13 KO) has been touted as a possible upset waiting to happen by those familiar with him. At 5'10", he'll have some physical advantages if he can use them, and many interviews with him recently have been bold. He sounds sincerely confident that this is a coming out party for him. We'll see.
The co-feature has Bey, a 29 and a familiar face for FNF regular viewers, in a position to stay unbeaten. At 5'9", he's tall for super featherweight, and he's trained by Floyd Mayweather Sr, which seems to work well enough for him in that he hasn't lost and hasn't parted ways with the sometimes cantankerous veteran trainer. I've not yet been convinced that Bey can really pull off the "Mayweather style," and personally I've never seen big potential in him. At 29, he's old to be a prospect, particularly for an American who turned pro just before he turned 22. He hasn't really progressed as much as you would normally like to see.
Frankel (30-12-1, 6 KO) is a scrappy, tough guy, and he can box a little, but he's really just a pretty good club fighter. That's not meant as some big insult or anything. Frankel is usually fun to watch and comes to fight, not roll over, and you can expect an honest effort. Chances are he'll lose out on talent, which isn't unusual for him.