Former Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga made a successful debut in the professional ranks by winning a unanimous decision against Manila’s Melvin Manangquil in the “Omega Who’s Next?” Pro Boxing Series at the Robinsons Galleria at the North Reclamation Area in Cebu City on Saturday, July 30.
What makes his first win extra special, Barriga says, is that he gets to start his professional career in the province where he was born.
“First I am happy because I won my debut fight, plus I won it here where the Barrigas come from, here in Cebu," Barriga, who was born in the city of Danao in Northern Cebu but grew up in Panabo City, Davao del Norte, said in Visayan.
“At first I felt nervous because all my family is here. So instead of being happy, I got apprehensive because I don’t know what would happen to me here and with my family around. But I had the courage to show my best on top of the ring so my family will be happy and be proud of our last name,” Barriga adds.
Barriga, who made it to the second round of the light flyweight tournament as the lone Philippine boxer at the 2012 Olympics, said that his training for his first professional fight was unexpectedly extended to five months after his original opponent for a fight in June failed a medical exam.
Now that he has fought his first professional bout, Barriga said he has to make a lot of adjustments.
Barriga didn’t like having to adjust to the pro style gloves or the number of rounds he has to fight.
He also said the punches he was hit with felt more powerful than those he experienced in the amateurs.
As for his future, Barriga wants to fight against China’s Zou Shiming who defeated him in the 2011 World Championships. Shiming now fights as a flyweight, 4 pounds above where Barriga made his debut. He’ll settle for whomever his manager puts in front of him.
Disclaimer: sportsnation.ph does not own any information, news and/or images featured on this site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyright to its respective owners. We do not make warranty as to the correctness or reliability of the site's content. If you own rights to any of the images and/or news and do not wish them to appear on this site, please email us at admin [at] email@example.com