Filipino boxer in London Olympics to face tough Kazakh foe

DAVAO CITY -- Pint-sized Mark Anthony Barriga, who humbled taller Italian Manuel Cappai in a convincing 17-7 win on Tuesday night (Philippine time), will be up against tougher Birzhan Zhakypov of Kazakhstan on Saturday.

The two will face each other in the men's light-flyweight division Round of 16 of the ongoing 2012 London Olympics boxing competition at ExCel Exhibition Center in London.

The 5’6” 28-year-old Zhakypov escaped an 18-17 victory over France's Jeremy Beccu in another first round bout to arrange a clash against Philippines' lone boxing hope 5’2” Barriga, only 19.

Olympian Zhakypov was a silver medalist in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou where he lost to eventual gold medalist Zou Shiming of China. He is also defending his gold in the quadri-ennial world's premier sports spectacle.

Zhakypov, who competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, also won a bronze in the 2005 World Amateur Boxing Championships.

The two-time Sydney Jackson Memorial Tournament champion Barriga, on the other hand, was a quarter-finalist in the Aiba Youth World Boxing Championships 2010 but lost his Round of 16 bout to Zou Shiming (12-5), who later took the gold, in the 2011 Aiba World Boxing Championship in Baku, Azerbaijan.

International amateur boxing referee judge Ramon "Dodong" Revamonte, in text messages to Sun.Star Davao, said Barriga stands a good chance against the Kazakh.

"Basta kondisyon lang si Mark kaya kaayo niya ang taga Kazakhstan. Kakita man ko sa away sa iyang makalaban, hapit pa man gani mapildi. Mas gusto ni Mark muaway ug taas pa sa iya. (As long as Barriga is in good condition, he can defeat the Kazakhstan boxer who nearly lost his match. Barriga wants to fight taller opponents)," he said.

Revamonte also said in the vernacular, "Barriga is a brilliant fighter. I've been in amateur boxing for a long time; he's one in a million among other young boxers because of his boxing skill. I just hope he won't get cheated by the judges. He will win with the prayers of the Filipino people."

Representative Anton Lagdameo’s chief-of-staff Gene Rose Tecson, also manager of the Barangay Una Boxing Team of Davao del Norte where Barriga honed his talent, was elated about the Filipino boxer’s win.

"So proud of Mark. He is living our dream of the country's first Olympic gold to come from Mindanao. Mabuhay si Tonyboy Floirendo for his vision. Siya ang nag-umpisa ng lahat! Hindi na mabubura ang Davao del Norte boxing team ni Sir Tonyboy. Naka produce ng Olympian!" Tecson said.

She is optimistic that Barriga will advance, adding, "His edge is his heart. He wants this so bad for himself, for the country, for God."

Barriga outpunched five-foot-six Cappai, 5-2, 4-2, 8-3 in all three rounds as he capitalized on his excellent speed, timing and footwork.

Barriga unleashed a barrage of counterpunches at the start of the first round. He tagged his rival with a right that staggered Cappai before his combination led to a standing eight-count for the Italian.

Cappai, known to change position at any given time, tried to be more aggressive in the second round yet he got warnings for hitting Barriga at the back of the head.

The wily Filipino, now being called the "Little Pacquiao" or "Pocket Pacquiao," proved too elusive to stretch his lead, 9-4, and he never looked back to secure the win after the thir round.

Ann Margie Sienes, Barriga's girlfriend, said he and his coach Roel Velasco couldn't contain their joy when they talked via Viber.

"They were just laughing and laughing. They were so happy. We didn't talk about the fight anymore because it was just a short conversation. I think Mark also didn't grant interviews there because he just wants to focus on his next fight," Sienes told Sun.Star Davao in text messages.

Coach Velasco, according to Sienes, thanked all Filipinos for supporting Barriga in prayers. (With AP/Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)

Loading...

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.

  • Philips Gold finally shines

    Philips Gold made 11 service aces on its way to beating Mane ‘N Tail, 25-19, 27-25, 25-16, for its first victory in the Philippine Super Liga (PSL) All-Filipino Coinference Monday night at The Arena in San Juan.Former College of St. Benilde standout Rossan Fajardo had six aces as part of her 10-point output as the Lady Slammers finally barged into the win column after losing their first two matches.Ex-National University star Myla Pablo led Philips Gold with 14 points highlighted by 12 kills, …

  • Turkish Airlines starts direct Manila-Istanbul flights 3 times a week

    Turkish Airlines, Turkey’s flag carrier, launched on March 30 its thrice weekly direct, non-stop flights between Istanbul and Manila at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 and plans to operate a daily service between the two cities, eventually, announced Chief Marketing Officer Ahmet Olmustur. Last November 2014, the Philippines and Turkey signed an expanded air services agreement granting Turkish carriers three frequencies per week to Manila and Clark. In accordance with …

  • Azkals bow to Bahrain

    The Philippine Azkals fell short in their bid to salvage a draw and fell 2-1 to Bahrain Monday night in an international friendly match at the Bahrain National Stadium in Manama. Faouzi Mubarak struck the opening goal for the home side in the 29th minute before Abdulla Yaser doubled the lead two minutes later with a booming shot from 25 yards out. Fil-German midfielder Manny Ott gave the Azkals a ray of hope when he scored from just outside the box in the 61st. National team Coach Thomas …

  • Alcalas dominate rivals

    In a brilliant show of power and speed, Mark Alcala downed fierce rival and Philippine team member Ross Leonard Pedroza, 21-16, 23-21, to win the men’s singles open title. Alcala lost her No. 1 ranking after focusing on her studies at the University of the Philippines, but she’s willing to sacrifice once again in order to represent the country in future international tournaments. …

  • Girl, grandma hurt in land mine blast

    A 12-year-old girl, who was on her way to her graduation, was wounded together with her grandmother after they were hit by a landmine blast planted near their family’s residence at Sitio Totoy, Barangay San Jose, Monkayo town, Compostela Valley (ComVal) province. Lt. Vergel U. Lacambra, chief of the Public Affairs Office (PAO) of the Army’s 10th Infantry (Agila) Division (10th ID), reported that Marcelyn Domicillo and her 58-year-old grandmother Rosallia Andaya were taken to a hospital in …

  • Army paddlers outlast Navy

    Army began where it left off the previous year, turning back arch rival Navy to rule the men’s 300-meter standard race in the opening leg of the 2015 Cobra Energy Drink-PDBF Dragon Boat Regatta held over the weekend at the Manila Bay.Overall champions the past season, the Army paddlers made their move in the last 100 meters to emerge clear winners in one minute and 7.67 seconds of the event sponsored by the country’s leading energy drink, Cobra, and organized by the Philippine Dragon Boat …

  • Awareness: April Fool’s Day

    On April 1, be wary of people who may borrow money or play practical jokes on you. It’s April Fool’s Day! While believed to be of Western origin, April Fool’s Day is observed in many countries of the world, including the Philippines. April Fool’s Day is that day of the year when people take the opportunity to fool around a bit by playing practical jokes on the gullible. …

  • All-out peace, says PNoy

    President Aquino reiterates that the best option for the government is all-out peace, not all-out war. *** Likewise, the Philippine National Police (PNP) calls for a peaceful and orderly observance of the Holy Week nationwide, as hundreds of thousands of people go on an exodus to major tourist spots and the provinces. A blessed Holy Week! *** The President dismisses calls for an all-out war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for the Masasapano tragedy and instead will …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options