by Photo: Lizette De Los Santos / Golden Boy

It's Coachella festival season, but its music artists weren't the only stars in the valley this week. 

On Thursday night, Golden Boy brought some fighting entertainment to Coachella Valley's Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, where Mercito Gesta fought against Joel Diaz, Jr in front of a sold-out crowd.  

The main event featured the San Diego-based fighter against the Los Angeles-based fighter, in an exciting lightweight fight of 10-rounds of boxing. 

Judges of this fight scored the battle (96-92), (96-92) and (95-93) all in favor the Gesta, especially after knocking-down Diaz, Jr. twice to the canvas during the fight, giving him his first boxing win in years. 

After the win, Gesta said that his expected child played a huge motivational role in getting back in the boxing ring, inspiring him to work hard in getting back in shape to fight a main event such as Thursday's battle against Diaz, Jr. 

“I feel energized, knowing I have an upcoming baby that has made me want to go back in the ring,” said Mercito Gesta. “We have been trying for six years, and we are blessed with this new life. I am so happy. When they said that there is ring rust, I don’t think I have that because I have been working hard and staying in shape. Joel Diaz, Jr. is a tough fighter, and winning and having such a great performance is going to open the doors for me in the sport.” 

Joel Diaz, Jr. gave credit to the San Diego-based fighter after his defeat, saying he's a tough opponent to face, and that he will learn how to incorporate more patience into his boxing going forward. 

“Mercito is a tough opponent,” said Joel Diaz, Jr. after his loss to Gesta. “I was giving him a lot of hard punches, but I couldn’t catch him. There is still a lot that I need to work on, focusing on landing my punches and staying patient. I was going out there looking for the kill, but that’s not always going to happen.” 

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