TY BARNETT THINKS MERCITO GESTA WILL BE HIS COMING OUT PARTY
By Michael Walters
On August 3rd, southeast Washington D.C. native Ty “TKO” Barnett (20-2-1 with 13 KOs) faces the toughest test of his career, Mercito Gesta (25-0-1 with 13 KOs).
The fight, which will be nationally televised on ESPN2, will be Barnett’s TV debut, although he has fought on the undercard of several big shows over the years. With a win in front of a national audience the former three-time Golden Gloves Champion thinks that this fight could make him a player in the lightweight division.
“This is like my coming out party. I have never had a nationally televised fight before this my first time fighting on TV and getting that exposure that I have been yearning for my whole career” said Barnett.
Barnett grew up in Southeast D.C., looking up to several local fighters who won world titles: Sharmba Mitchell, Keith Holmes, William Joppy and Hall of Famer Mark Johnson. As an amateur, Barnett says his style resembled that of the late great Diego Corrales. “People always compared me to him back in the amateurs, they always said I fight just like Diego”.
Barnett has suffered a couple of setbacks in his career, two stoppage losses against Juan Santiago and Andrey Klimov, but he believes that he beat himself in those fights through a lack of preparation. “It’s more mental then anything. It’s all a learning experience. I am back and focused 100% and ready to do great things.”
“I have just come off of two fights with two veteran guys [Robert Daluz and Damon Antouine]and I feel as though my timing is back and I am seeing things a lot clearer in the ring. I feel like I felt when I was climbing that ladder”.
Now working with advisor Norman Smith Jr. and trainer Scott Buchanan who has worked with a who’s who of D.C. area fighters including Mitchell and Holmes, Barnett feels as though he is ready to shock the boxing world.
Gesta, from the Philippines, will surely be favored in this fight, but being the underdog is nothing new to Barnett. In 2008 he stopped the favored Pavel Miranda who at the time was considered a prospect. Miranda lost to Barnett by TKO in the fourth round. “This is nothing new to me, I am glad that everybody is doubting me so I can upset them. It’s not going to be a shocker to me,” says Barnett about the upcoming match.
Gesta is a lefthander, but Barnett says he’s faced a number of southpaws in his career and doesn’t feel as though Gesta will show him anything he hasn’t seen before. Being in the gym with lefties like Zab Judah, Mitchell and Demarcus Corley, Barnett thinks he is more then prepared for anything the Filipino slugger will bring come fight night.
“I am just going to go in there in do what I do best, any adjustments that need to be made I’ll make the adjustment “, said Barnett about facing the southpaw Gesta. “Mercito has decent speed and a little power but at the end of the day it’s nothing that I haven’t seen”.
The extremely confident Barnett thinks after this fight his named should be mentioned as possible world title contender. “I am ready to get in the mix with the elite, that’s where I belong because I am an elite fighter”.
You can follow Ty Barnett on twitter @TyBarnettKO
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