TWO-time world challenger Mercito Gesta returns to the ring on March 22 (PHL time) after a long layoff.
The 31-year-old Gesta takes on veteran Mexican Juan Antonio Rodriguez in a 10-rounder at Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles, California.
Gesta, a native of Mandaue City, last saw action in June of last year, winning a majority decision over Robert Manzanarez. Before that fight, he fought Jorge Linares for the World Boxing Association (WBA) lightweight crown but lost by unanimous decision.
Rodriguez, 31, should be a good gauge if Gesta is back at his top form for another world title run.
Rodriguez, a southpaw, has shared the ring with the likes of world champions Billy Dib, Javier Fortuna and Jeezrel Corrales.
Rodriguez, however, has been inactive since a unanimous decision against Pedro Campa in 2017.
Gesta is 32-2 with 17 knockouts, while Rodriguez is 29-7 with 25 knockouts.
Gesta is currently ranked no. 2 in the World Boxing Organization (WBO) behind Roman Andreev. The current WBO lightweight champion is pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko. (EKA)