Olympian Barriga bags gold in Uzbekistan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan—Marc Anthony Barriga of the PLDT-Abap national team played it smart before besting fellow Olympic qualifier David Ayrapetyan of Russia to take the light flyweight gold medal for the second straight year in the annual Sydney Jackson Memorial Tournament Friday at the Universal Uzbekistan Sports Complex here.
The fight was so close between the two London Olympic bets that the score was tied in the first two rounds, 3-3 and 6-6, before the diminutive 18-year-old from Panabo, Davao del Norte, outboxed his rival in the final round to earn the nod of the judges, 10-9.
Barriga scored mainly on quick counterpunches as Ayrapetyan, 29, the European champion the last two years and the 2011 World Championships silver medalist, bore in with his power punches.
He tried to lure the Filipino into a toe-to-toe battle, but Barriga sidestepped and countered each time, drawing cheers from the crowd who saw him as the underdog due to his size.
Ian Clark Bautista of Negros Occidental earlier won the bronze medal.
Abap executive director and delegation head Ed Picson said their stint here was part of PLDT-Abap’s continuing program to expose the national boxers to tough events.
“As Abap president Ricky Vargas promised, we will let our boys have the best training, the widest experience and the proper tools available to us in order to get the optimal performance from our boxers.”
The team is coached by Ronald Chavez and Roel Velasco. Meanwhile, international referee-judge Victorio Policarpio was named Best Referee among 32 ring officials.