Former Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga declared that he is now in 90 percent peak condition to wage war against knockout artist Gabriel Mendoza of Colombia on May 13, in a title-eliminator minimum weight bout set by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) at the SM Skydome in North Edsa.
The winner of the bout will challenge reigning IBF minimum weight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi of Japan.
Trainer Joven Jimenez, also the trainer of defending IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, said Barriga’s Survival Camp training focuses more on increasing punching power in addition to speed and strategy since his 38-year-old opponent is a veteran of 36 fights.
“We are almost 90 percent ready. His opponent is skilful and seasoned – he has the experience,” Jimenez told The Manila Times in a phone interview.
The No. 7 IBF rated Mendoza (29-5-2 win-loss-draw record with 23 knockouts) is coming off a unanimous decision win over Yenrry Bermudez of Venezuela last December 15.
“As far as his record is concerned, we knew that he is hard-hitting fighter so it is going to be a dangerous fight,” Jimenez added.
Barriga, ranked No. 3 by the IBF, scored a unanimous decision win over fellow Filipino Glenn Calacar last December 16, to stretch his unbeaten record to 8-0 with a knockout.