OLYMPIC BOXER MARK BARRIGA: MAYBE THE FIRST EVER TO WIN A GOLD?

[PHOTO -Mark Anthony Barriga AFP Photo]

MANILA, AUGUST 2, 2012 (MANILA TIMES) Written by Josef T. Ramos, Correspondent - After posting a resounding 17-7 win against the taller Italian Manuel Cappai on Tuesday night, Filipino boxer Mark Anthony Barriga is now bracing for his fight against Birzhan Zhakypov of Kazakhstan on August 4.

Barriga must notch four more victories to claim the very first Olympic gold medal for the Philippines.

“It was a great and exciting match but this is only his first match,” Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines executive director Ed Picson told The Manila Times in a telephone interview. “We are expecting every fight to become harder.”

Although it was only his first match, Barriga, 19, fought very well thrashing the Italian and advancing to the Round of 16.

Barriga, a native of Panabo, Davao province admitted that the punches of the 19-year-old Cappai also hurt him, but he moved faster around and successfully connected via counter-punching throughout the three rounds.

“It’s still a long way to go for me. Of course, I’m happy with this win and I hope to continue winning for our country,” said Barriga in Filipino in a separate telephone interview on Wednesday. “I need to give my best each fight for our country.”

Barriga also thanked his mother, Merlita, and father, Edgar, and fellow Filipino supporters for watching and cheering for him during his bout at the London’s ExCeL’s venue.

Picson also said that Barriga is undergoing light training everyday under mentor Roel Velasco, a bronze medalist in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics to condition his body.

“Mark needs to sustain his light training especially in his next bout in the round of 16,” said Picson.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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