Former Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga captured his first title as a professional boxer—the World Boxing Organization International minimum weight belt—after beating Wittawas Besapean of Thailand via unanimous decision on Friday night in Beijing, China.
Barriga banked on his superb technical skills to get the nod of the judges, 100-93, 100-93, 100-93, in the bout witnessed by eighth-division world champion Manny Pacquiao and International Boxing Federation super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas.
“That Thai doesn’t want to give up and he’s very durable so I focused on using my technical skills. I couldn’t knock him down. He’s tough,” Barriga, 24, who improved to 7-0 win-loss record with one knockout, told The Manila Times through online message.
Trainer Joven Jimenez said he believes a world title shot could happen soon for the Panabo Davao del Norte native, who only turned professional in July 2016.
“I believe the world title opportunity is now within reach for Mark (Barriga),” he said.