Roach Believes Gesta Can Take Linares

Freddie Roach, who once trained Jorge Linares, believes that Mercito Gesta can win their fight for Linares’ WBA lightweight title.

“It’s a very, very tough fight,” Roach told

“[Linares] is a very good fighter. I worked with him before. But Gesta could take his heart. The thing is, he’s getting older and so forth, and once he gets caught, he falls apart. If you frustrate him, he falls apart. If things don’t go his way, he can be a little bit of a baby. At this point in his career, I think we have a very good shot to win that fight.”

Linares is in the midst of a 12 fight win streak, and last lost with Roach watching on to Sergio Tompson in 2012


His loss to Thompson was Linares’ second straight TKO defeat. In his previous fight, Mexico’s Antonio DeMarco stopped him in the 11th round.

“Linares is a great fighter,” Roach said. “He’s had a great career and so forth. For anyone to get a win over him, that’s a great, great achievement, because he is a very good fighter.”

Even though Linares has his respect, Roach is confident Gesta  can pull off an upset in what has been criticized as a mismatch. He believes the Filipino southpaw will fare much better than he did during his first title shot – a lopsided loss to former IBF lightweight champ Miguel Vazquez in their 12-rounder five years ago.

“I know they gave Peter Nelson a bunch of sh*t about this fight,” Roach said, referring to the HBO executive that approved Linares-Gesta. “I told him, ‘We’re gonna save the day for you, because we’re gonna win this fight.’ ”

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