A more mature Mark Barriga shines in SEA Games

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

LEANING on his vast international experience, Panabo City's very own Mark Anthony Barriga emerged the best boxer in his class in the 27th Southeast Asian Games in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar last month.

Beefed up by a world-class training program in Italy where he is under contract for the World Series of Boxing, the pint-sized ex-mainstay of the Brgy. Una Boxing Team of Davao del Norte captured the men's light flyweight gold medal in the Games following a convincing 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 win over Indonesian Konelis Kwangu Langu.

The former London Olympian, who spent the holidays with his family in Barangay San Vicente, left Thursday night to resume his training with the WSB-bound Italy team.


Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (Abap) executive director Ed Picson, in text interview with Sun.Star Davao, said Mark has improved a lot as an amateur boxer, saying: "He's getting more attuned to the new scoring system. And his physical conditioning is very good."

Picson said the Panabo ace will be in Italy for two months as Abap will look for other tournaments to prepare him and the rest of the national boxing team for the Asian Games set October 19 to October 4 in Incheon, Korea.

International referee judge Ramon "Dodong" Revamonte, who used to handle Barriga while he was with Brgy. Una team, said Mark has gone a long way since he started boxing.

"Dako kaayo ang iyang pag improve ug nagka mature na siya. Kung dili mausab iyang gipakita sa SEA Games basin swertihon siya sa Brazil Olympics (He has really improved and has grown more mature. If he keeps up with what he showed in the SEA Games, he will have a big shot at the Brazil Olympics)," Revamonte said in a separate text message.

Abap Mindanao area director Generose Tecson, also manager of Barangay Una Boxing Team of Davao del Norte, praised Mark for his growth.

Tecson said, "We at the Davao del Norte boxing team are very proud of Mark. Hopefully he and Rey (Saludar) will have another shot at the Olympics and eventually bring home the gold!"

The 20-year-old Mark, who got a bronze in the China Open 2013, was confident from the start that his Italy training for the WSB will improve his chances in the SEA Games. True enough, he clinched his first gold medal in the biennial meet, elevating his status in the national team.

He also said in a recent chat interview that he targets a SEA Games gold so he can earn P40,000 monthly allowance from the Philippine Sports Commission. He used to receive P20,000 stipend before the Myanmar joust.
Mark said he is saving up to build a house for his parents Edgar, an employee at Sumifru, and Melita, a housewife.

He used to be a consistent Palarong Pambansa and National Open gold medalist before joining the national team where he landed stints in the Aiba World Championships, a qualifying in the Olympics. He was the lone qualifier from the Philippine in the London Olympics 2012 boxing competition.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 05, 2014.


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