When passing along word that Mikey Garcia had turned down a unification bout with Jorge Linares, I said that the possibility of a rematch between Linares and Luke Campbell softened the blow. Well, consider the blow un-softened, because Linares will instead fight Mercito Gesta in the co-feature of a January 27th HBO card headlined by Lucas Matthysse vs. Tewa Kiram.
Gesta (31-1-2, 17 KO), who is to Manny Pacquiao what Kenneth Branagh’s Hercule Poirot is to David Suchet’s, is 5-0-1 since a one-sided loss to Miguel Vazquez in his sole crack at a world title. He is unranked by the WBA, whose belt Linares holds, but is #12 in the IBF rankings.
Rancid fight. At least Matthysse-Kiram has the intrigue of Matthysse’s decline and Kiram’s unbeaten record. Then again, Linares is distressingly fragile, so who knows?