Panabo's Barriga takes another shot at Worlds-A A +A
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
FORMER boxing Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga of Panabo City is poised to stage a comeback and improve on his 2011 stint as he competes anew in the Aiba World Boxing Championships slated Oct. 11 to 27 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Pint-sized Barriga, who was the lone Filipino boxer who competed in the 2012 London Olympics, bowed out in the Last 16 round of the 2011 staging of the Aiba World Boxing Championships held in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The 20-year-old light flyweight, who hails from Barangay San Vicente, will join the five-member Team Philippines that will also parade the services of flyweight Roldan Bongcales (52 kgs.) of General Santos City, bantamweight Mario Fernandez (56 kgs) of Bukidnon, lightweight Junel Cantancio (60 kgs) and Dennis Galvan (64 kgs) of Bacolod City.
"Maningkamot ra ko. Dili ko makaingon nga mag medal ko pero ihatag nako tanan sa laban kay dala nako ang tibuok nasud sa akong pagdula (I'll work hard. I can't say that I'll be winning a medal this time but I'll give my best since I'm bringing the whole country when I compete)," Barriga said in a phone interview with Sun.Star Davao on Tuesday.
Barriga, who bagged a bronze medal in the China Open 2013, said he still expects stiff competition in his division even if two-time Olympic champion Shiming Zou of China, who defeated him in the Last 16 in Azerbaijan, had turned pro.
Barriga, the second among three children of Edgar, who works at Sumifru, and Melita, a housewife, said he is also contemplating about going professional but he still would want to don the country's colors in international meets like the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, Asian Games and Olympics.
For him to get the feel about life in the pro, he is set to sign up for Italy to see action in the World Series of Boxing.
He shared, "Gikuha man ko sa Italy para mudula sa WSB. Nakita siguro nila akong mga miaging laban apil tong sa Olympics kay taga Italy man akong napildi sa unang round (Italy offered me to play for them in WSB. They may have seen my previous fights including the one in the Olympics where I defeated an Italian)."
Barriga, however, said he will still prioritize playing for the country in the Myanmar SEA Games in December.
"I'll just seek permission to spend Christmas with my family after the SEA Games," he added in the vernacular.
The WSB, according to him, also follows amateur rules but boxers will no longer use head gears and wear jersey shirts.
He thinks that he will gain more experience playing in the WSB that will better his chances in the SEA Games.
The Panabo ace, a product of the Brgy. Una Boxing Team under former Cong. Tonyboy Floirendo, said his stint with Italy will also help him save up for a house for his family.
He currently receives a monthly salary of P20,000 from the Philippine Sports Commission. He aims to win a SEA Games gold so his status as a national athlete will also be elevated. He said that a SEA Games champion will get to claim a P40,000 monthly income.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 02, 2013.