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Joel Diaz Jr to face Mercito Gesta in Golden Boy main event on April 21

Looks like Golden Boy is bringing back Thursday night fights.

Mercito Gesta will face Joel Diaz Jr on April 21
Mercito Gesta will face Joel Diaz Jr on April 21
Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

Good news for those of us diehards who enjoyed Golden Boy’s run of Thursday night shows a few years back, as it appears the events are back on the menu for the promoter and DAZN.

Golden Boy announced today that Joel Diaz Jr will face Mercito Gesta in a DAZN main event on Thursday, April 21, with the lineup for the show looking very much like what we watched on Thursdays in 2019 — no “big names,” but fights meant to provide action with some prospects mixed in, getting work on a smaller show, which will take place at Fantasy Springs in Indio, Calif., a familiar home for Golden Boy.

You may remember the 29-year-old Diaz (26-2, 22 KO) from a ShoBox loss to Regis Prograis in 2019, where Diaz was stopped in two by the rising star, before Prograis went on to become a world champion. He also lost to Cristian Rafael Coria in three in 2019, and has won his last two, a pair of club fights in Mexico.

Diaz has gone four rounds or less in each of his last 12 fights.

Gesta (32-3-3, 17 KO) was once touted as a “next Manny Pacquiao” type, which has been a tough thing put on a lot of Filipino southpaws in the last 15 years, sort of like how new singer-songwriters for about 20 years got saddled with “next Bob Dylan.” Now a 34-year-old veteran, Gesta has never quite gotten over the hump, and is 1-2-1 in his last four, with losses to Jorge Linares and, on a Golden Boy Thursday show in 2019, Juan Antonio Rodriguez. He fought Carlos Morales to a technical draw in his last fight, which came in Nov. 2019.

Diaz vs Gesta will be a 10-round fight at 140 lbs.

Also on the card:

  • Jousce “Tito” Gonzalez (11-0-1, 10 KO) takes on Jairo Lopez (27-14, 17 KO) in an eight-round lightweight bout.
  • San Diego prospect Jorge Chavez (1-0, 1 KO) will fight a four-rounder at 130 lbs.
  • Manuel Flores (11-0, 8 KO) will be in an eight-round junior featherweight bout.
  • Jan Salvatierra (7-1, 3 KO) is scheduled for a six-round flyweight fight.