Boxer is Philippines' main hope for Olympic medal

Boxer Mark Anthony Barriga is the Philippines' main hope for gold at the London Games, sports officials said Saturday, with the light-flyweight aiming to be the country's first Olympic champion.

The 19-year-old, a quarter-finalist at the world championships in Azerbaijan last year, is facing tough odds, said Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines executive director Ed Picson.

But he added: "We think he has a decent chance of winning. That is why he is there. If we did not think he had a chance, we would not send him."

The Philippines has an impressive record in professional boxing, with two current world champions -- Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire.

And Barriga also has a good record, with wins at the annual Sydney Jackson Memorial Tournament in Uzbekistan in 2011 and 2012.

The head of the Philippine Sports Commission, Richie Garcia, said: "He has a very good chance of winning in his weight category. He seems to have the spirit and determination to win.

"He is not somebody who came out of nowhere. He has a track record and he can win."

Garcia said the Philippines will have only a small squad of 11 athletes in London after many promising contenders failed to qualify in their respective sports.

The country has suffered a long medal drought, with its last podium finish -- a silver in boxing -- coming in the Atlanta games in 1996. It has never won gold but did bag bronze medals, also in boxing, in 1992 and 1988.

Garcia, whose agency is in charge of funding national athletics programmes, said he favoured a proposal to bring in more foreign coaches.

The boxing association is considering hiring a "consultant", possibly from Kazakhstan, the United States or Britain to help upgrade its programme, Picson said.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Batangas women bear ‘the cross’ to save loved ones VERA Files - The Inbox
    Batangas women bear ‘the cross’ to save loved ones

    Text and photos by Jane Dasal, VERA Files Nasugbu, Batangas—At the break of dawn on Good Friday, Celilia Zafra donned a black dress and shrouded her face with a black cloth. Then she walked to a place called “putol na … Continue reading → …

  • Chronicling the komedya in Antique VERA Files - The Inbox
    Chronicling the komedya in Antique

    By Alex C. Delos Santos, VERA Files The first time Cecile Locsin-Nava, a scholar on cultural studies in Western Visayas, came to Antique around ten years ago was to gather data for a research on the korido, or Philippine narrative … Continue reading → …

  • Ayungin dilemma Ramon Casiple - Parallaxis
    Ayungin dilemma

    China faces a dilemma in Ayungin Shoal and other contested areas. If it waits for the ITLOS—which may decide against it—it would have tacitly bound itself to UNCLOS and risk a rogue state reputation if it asserts its claim in the South China Sea. If its militarily acts now, it may face international isolation. …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options