London 2012 Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga posted another victory as a professional boxer by beating Powell Balaba via unanimous decision in their eight-round light flyweight undercard bout late Friday at the Strike Coliseum in Bacoor, Cavite.
Barriga, 23, who reached the quarterfinals of the 2012 London Games, relied on counter-punching prowess to best Balaba. He recorded his debut win as a pro in July by beating Melvin Manangguil in Cebu City also by unanimous decision.
“I’m very happy now as a pro,” Barriga of Panabo Davao del Norte told The Manila Times on Saturday in a phone interview. “He (Balaba) is a good opponent despite his record. I’m very comfortable and confident fighting as a professional.”
Balaba, from Baguio City, has a record of eight wins with five knockouts, 20 defeats and a draw.
“My trainer told me not to worry of not scoring any knockout victory. I really need to develop first my power,” added Barriga. “What’s important is I have the speed and the timing. A knockout win will soon come and I don’t need to rush it.”
Barriga’s trainer Joven Jimenez, also the trainer of International Boxing Federation world super flyweight titleholder Jerwin Ancajas, said that there is a plan for his ward to move down from light flyweight to minimumweight, in his hunt for a world title.
“Mark is comfortable at 106 pounds and we’re thinking of moving down to the minimumweight and get a world title shot soon. Maybe around seven to eight fights we will be able to get a world title shot. For regional title, maybe five more fights,” said Jimenez.
In the main event, the fight between super flyweight fighters Ardin Diale (31-10-3 win-loss-draw with 15 knockouts) and Ryan Lumacad (11-0-2 record with six knockouts) ended in a draw.