Charly Suarez and Mark Anthony Barriga won their first bouts in the inaugural staging of the AIBA Professional Boxing Tournament (APB) held in separate venues.
The International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) headed by Dr. Ching-Kuo Woo of Taiwan, launched this year the APB to complement its long-running amateur program that includes the World Series of Boxing, which started in 2013.
The AIBA is selecting eight boxers from member countries to participate in each division that will go through an elimination process via six-round contest. The next round of the tourney is an 8-rounder competition while the championship or finals will be a 10-rounder.
“This project is very important for us as APB is going to become in time the main program of AIBA. The APB program is also one of the qualification paths for the Olympic Games in Rio-de-Janeiro. Following the first cycle of APB Competition, which will be launched this October and will last until January 2015, Title Champions in each weight category will join the list of qualified boxers for the Olympic Games,” AIBA Executive Committee member and Vice-President of Kazakhstan’s Boxing Federation Serik Konakbayev said in a an interview posted in the AIBA website.
“In addition to this, boxers will get new opportunities to continue their sports career. The APB fights will feature more rounds, which means they are suitable only for the most resistant boxers.”
Suarez knocked down two-time Olympian and ex-European and world champion Domenico Valentino of Italy in the fifth round en route to a split decision victory in their 60-kilogram lightweight fight at the Daulet Stadium in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Not to be outdone, Olympian Barriga dominated Argentina’s Leandro Blanc in their 49-kg light flyweight fight in Guangzhou, China in the same APB tournament.
The 2014 Asian Games silver medalist Suarez will next face Kazakhstan’s Berik Abdrakhmanov on November 21, aiming to avenge a hometown decision he suffered in the President’s Cup that was held in Astana in July this year.
Barriga will next meet Ecuador’s Carlo Quipo for his succeeding fight.
“We are elated at the auspicious start of Charly and Mark in the APB,” said Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines President Ricky Vargas. “Their hard work and sacrifice are paying off.”