Barriga braces for second pro fight

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Mark Anthony Barriga (right) defeats Syria’s Hussin Al Masri (left) in the men’s boxing light fly 46-49 kgs preliminaries session 4 during the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon on September 25, 2014. AFP PHOTO

Mark Anthony Barriga (right) defeats Syria’s Hussin Al Masri (left) in the men’s boxing light fly 46-49 kgs preliminaries session 4 during the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon on September 25, 2014. AFP PHOTO

DAVAO CITY: Former London Olympic boxer Mark Anthony Barriga of Panabo City will have his second professional boxing assignment against former WBC Asia contender Powell Balaba of Tagbilaran City, Bohol on September 30 at the new Strike Gymnasium in Bacoor, Cavite.

They will be fighting for eight rounds in the 108-pound division in the undercard of the “Knockout” Double OPBF Championship promotion by the MP Highland and United International Promotions.

Barriga won his pro debut by a unanimous decision against Melvin Manangquil held on July 30 at the Robinsons Galleria in Cebu City.

The 23-year-old native of Panabo City is now managed by Jason Soong of Manila.


Balaba, on the other hand, is a former WBC Asia contender with a record of 8 wins (5 KOs), 19 losses and 1 draw.

The 27-year-old Balaba of Tagbilaran is a veteran of three championship fights. He first fought but lost by a unanimous decision to Crison Omayao for the Philippine minimumweight title on April 19, 2014 in Valencia City, Bukidnon.

Balaba then lost by a knockout against undefeated Nawaphon Kaikanha for the WBC Asia Boxing Council flyweight crown in Thailand last February 24, 2015.

Healso lost to Geboi Mansalayao by knockout in their battle for the Luzon Professional Boxing Association flyweight title held September 6, 2015 in La Trinidad, Benguet.

Balaba’s last victory was on November 23, 2013 when he retired heavy-favorite Vic Saludar (now WBO Asia Pacific minimumweight champion) in the fourth round in Cagayan de Oro City.

“This match-up between Barriga and Balaba is a good one. Equal height and might. The only difference is that Balaba has more ring experience. This will be a good test for Barriga,” said promoter Brico Santig of Highland International Promotions.

The blockbuster boxing card is co-promoted by Rene Pacquiao and Ace Mendoza of MP Manila Gym and Ryuta Kato of United International. Matchmaker is Warren Elliot.

The double main event will feature former OPBF flyweight champion Ardin “The Jackal” Diale (31W-10L-3D-15KOs) of Malungon, Sarangani Province against undefeated Ryan “Singwancha” Lumacad (11W-0L-1D-6KOs) of General Santos City for the vacant OPBF Silver flyweight title.

The other championship fight is between former WBC International light flyweight and WBC Asian Boxing light flyweight champion Richard “Explosive” Claveras and undefeated Jeronil Borres (7W-0L-1D-5KOs) of Camiguin for the vacant OPBF light flyweight title.

PNA

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