No more burgers for BarrigaBy Artemio T. Engracia
Inquirer News Editor
LONDON – One of the most serious problems confronting boxers, especially those in the lighter divisions, is making the weight. Mark Anthony never had such problems since he started competing internationally as a light flyweight.
But recently, he got a call from his nutritionist, who heard that the Filipino Olympian had been eating hamburgers.
“He was told not to indulge in burgers and to avoid fatty foods,” Ed Picson, executive director of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines.
Arabella Ripoll, ABAP nutritionist, had advised Barriga to eat more rice and bread for his carbohydrates.
“Sumusunod naman (He’s following instructions),” Picson said, who described Barriga as a very coachable athlete.
Barriga has been declining invitations to lunch or dinner since he arrived in London for the Olympics. The only exception was lunch with his very supportive parents, Edgar and Merlita, who are here to watch him fight.
Meanwhile, Barriga clarified on Friday that he or his coach had described Birzhan Zhakypov of Kazakhstan as lacking in self-confidence.
Speaking through Picson, Barriga said his coach, Roel Velasco, was misquoted. What Velasco said was that Zhakypov is a good fighter and that he should not be over confident against him, he said.
“He said no such thing. On the contrary, what he said was he (Mark) cannot afford to be confident against him because he knows the Kazakh to be a competent and powerful fighter,” Picson said.
“He has too much respect for Zhakypov,’’ he added.