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Road warriors Mercito Gesta & Emmanuel Robles win in San Francisco

Emmanuel Robles and his progression from Amateur to proud father to undefeated professional athlete.
Emmanuel Robles and his progression from Amateur to proud father to undefeated professional athlete.
Jim Wyatt

One of the most dangerous propositions for a prizefighter is to take a fight on the road in your opponent’s backyard. Regardless of what anyone is going to say, the local fighter is always going to get the benefit of the doubt in every round, in every close decision.

(l to r) In Emmanuel Robles' corner, he has (l to r) Juan Ramirez of Cutman4Hire, Ernie "Silky" Johnson his trainer and assistant trainer Ernest Johnson, Jr.
Ernest Johnson

On Friday night at the Longshoremen's Hall in San Francisco, CA, both Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta from San Diego by way of Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines and his opponent, Luis “El Vampiro” Arceo (28-12-4, 18 KOs) from Tijuana, B. C., Mexico were out-of-towners, but that wasn’t the case for Emmanuel “Renegade” Robles (10-0-1, 3 KOs) of San Diego who was an out-of-towner facing Jonathan “El Charismatico” Chicas (13-1, 6 KOs) a local, very popular fighter of San Francisco. According to boxer and Fox Sports commentator Paulie Malignaggi, “These are two very evenly matched, hungry fighters.”

Malignaggi’s prognostication was right on the money. With the boxers splitting rounds one through four, Robles taking rounds one and three and Chicas squeaking by in rounds two and four, the local favorite made a major push in round five and went on the attack with hard shots to the body. While backing up, Robles' roundhouse punches were wide and off the mark.

Back came Robles in round six to even their match. Then came the all important seventh round in which Robles found his magic bullet, a punch that kept reaching pay dirt. It was the third of these devastating, left uppercuts that jolted Chicas’ head back and sent him flying backwards to the canvas. Invigorated by his success, Robles carried through with his momentum, right up until the final bell. Which, if you were scoring the bout, gave Robles a 77-74 victory.

Aside from the two, very close rounds where the judges could have gone either way, the judging appeared to be on the up and up. In the end, the scorecards cards that mattered read 76-75 Robles from Judge Kermit Bayless, 76-75 Chicas from judge Susan Thomas Gitlin and the tie breaker 76-75 for Robles from judge Marshall Walker.

And so, if Robles hadn’t connected with that seventh round, left uppercut to score the knockdown, the scores would have read - 76-76, a draw, from judge Bayless, 77-75 for Chicas (five rounds for Chicas and only three for Robles) from Gitlin and finally a 76-76 draw decision from Walker.

Getting back to that Main Event featuring Mercito Gesta of San Diego (27-1, 15 KOs) going up against the grizzled veteran Luis Arceo (28-12), it turned out to be a very one-sided affair. Gesta proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he had the quicker hands. He also did a great job of switching stances, going from righty to lefty and mixing up his punches so Arceo never had an opportunity to get on track.

His aim in life is to be as famous as the mountain, so says the 7 foot “Taishan” Dong of Beijing, China (287 lbs., 84 inch reach) who in his debut defeated the 6’ 3” Alex Rozman (255 lbs.) by TKO in round #2. Dong scored three knockdowns in this contest. The big guy proved he can hurt his opponents with little more than his jab coming at you the same way a steel ladder would.

Signed with Golden Boy Promotions, Dong, born Dong Jian Jun on May 18, 1988 in the northwest province of Gansu, China, derived his nickname after he climbed the Taishan Mountain, one of five sacred Taoist mountains in China. He played one year of basketball before moving on to wrestling, kung fu and kickboxing. In February of 2013, he scored a first-round knockout over Bob Sapp.

With the loss, Rozman, a bodybuilder from Davenport, Iowa (2-7-0, 1 KO) is now on a six fight losing streak. In two weeks, the 32 year-old will get to fight the 37 year-old, six foot tall, Travis Fulton who was born in Waterloo, Iowa but now resides in Cedar Falls, Iowa. His record is 21-37-1, with 20 KOs. Fulton is currently on a five fight losing streak. Still, put your money on Fulton.

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