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By Santino Honasan, Abs-cbnnews.com

Filipino boxer Mercito ‘No Mercy’ Gesta looks to start 2018 with a bang, as he’s set to challenge Venezuela’s Jorge Linares for the WBA and Ring lightweight world championships in January.

The 30-year old Gesta (31-1-2) gets his second shot at a world championship after coming up short in his IBF title bid against Miguel Vasquez back in 2012.

After over a year on the shelf, Gesta made a triumphant return to the ring in early 2017 with a unanimous decision win against Gilberto Gonzales in Las Vegas.

Filipino boxer Mercito Gesta and his trainer Freddie Roach.

Gesta followed that up with an eighth-round KO win over Martin Honorio in California.

Now based in the United States, the Cebu-native has been working under the tutelage of legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach and hopes to finally capture a world championship.

Linares (43-3) on the other hand, is a former WBC featherweight and lightweight world champion. In 2016, Linares captured the WBA and Ring Magazine lightweight championships, and has defended them twice since.

Gesta and Linares are set to face off at the Forum in Inglewood, California on January 27th.

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