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.

  • Que nails first title in 3 years

    The three-time Asian Tour champion, who bounced back from a mediocre start of 72 and 71 with a fiery 66 Friday to tie Tabuena at helm, pooled a 72-hole total of seven-under 281 to nail the elusive win on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour worth P650,000. Hounded by poor putting, Tabuena went birdie-less for the first time in a long while but still stayed in the title hunt with a slew of pars at the back until he bogeyed the 17th and fell by two. …

  • Church: Donate to ‘Alay Kapwa’

    An official of the Church’s social action arm has asked the faithful to be generous when making a donation to "Alay Kapwa" today, Palm Sunday, which is also designated as Alay Kapwa Sunday.   Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA), said the faithful should generously give to Alay Kapwa as the amount collected will be used as emergency funds for crisis and calamities both from natural and …

  • ‘PNP’s systematic anti-crime drive to be sustained

    Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas II vowed to sustain the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) deliberate, programmatic and determined approach in fighting criminality.  “The President and Filipino people can be assured that the PNP will not slow down in its mission of fighting criminality, not only in Metro Manila but nationwide," said Roxas, who bared that there has been a significant drop in criminal activities within Metro Manila, especially …

  • Visayas grid to benefit from new Luzon power plants

    Owing to the existing transmission interconnection, Visayas grid is seen benefitting from the projected ‘oversupply’ that may saturate Luzon in the next three years. The Department of Energy and players from the power industry have noted the scant flow of capital for new power projects in Visayas, but they underscored that the transmission link-up would enable the sharing of energy between the two grids. First Gen executive vice president Ernesto B. Pantangco, who is also vice president of …

  • Arroyo’s co-accused permitted to undergo hospital procedure

    A co-accused of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in a plunder case has been allowed by the Sandiganbayan First Division to undergo a medical procedure tomorrow. The graft court permitted former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Benigno Aguas, who was also its former budget and accounts manager, to undergo a cardiopulmonary/endocrine clearance procedure at the St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City this morning. Aguas, who is …

  • Petron expands petroleum retail operations

    Following the completion of its re-branding on acquired assets, leading Philippine oil firm Petron Corporation is now setting its goal on expanding its retail network in Malaysian petroleum market. The company has emphasized “20 more sites are in various stages of construction and commissioning.” On the downstream petroleum industry, it is the first time that a Filipino firm had brought its brand to an offshore market. It is technically some sort of ‘symbiosis’ when it comes to investments …

  • PAGASA: Storm may enter PH by Wednesday

    It may be a wet and windy Holy Week due to an erstwhile low pressure area which has intensified into a tropical storm with international name "Maysak,” according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.As of yesterday morning, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) estimated the cyclone at about 3,300 kilometers east of Mindanao and outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).Should it maintain its present speed and track, it may enter the …

  • News In Brief

    The weighted average rate stands at P44.796 MINDANAO INFRASTRUCTURE SHARE INCREASED In a bid to boost the Mindanao economy, the Philippine government has increased the southern island’s share of the 2015 infrastructure budget to 30%, or around $4 billion, said Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson at the Philippines Investment Forum in Manila last week. “In 10 years’ time it’s still likely to be 30% because while the Philippines is committed to growing renewables, demand will …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options