MARK Anthony Barriga didn’t disappoint as he dominated veteran Thai opponent Wittawas Basapean over the weekend to keep his unbeaten record as a pro.
Barriga won by unanimous decision on all three judges’ cards behind similar scores of 100-90 to the delight of the crowd at the Heyuan Royal Garden Hotel in Beijing, China that included legendary Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao.
The 24-year-old Barriga, who represented the country in the 2012 London Olympics, raised his record to 7-0 as he continued to line himself up for a possible shot at a world title. The win over Basapean, 32, earned the Filipino the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) international minimumweight crown.
Promoted by MP Promotions, Barriga has already earned the trust of Pacquiao, who sees the Olympian becoming a world champion someday.
“Bilib si Manny sa kanya. If he continues to persevere and maintains discipline, malaki ang chance niya to become a world champion. A few more experience and he’ll be ready to challenge for a world title,” said Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy, who is now an official partner of the 38-year-old Pacquiao, also a Philippine senator, with MP Promotions.
Barriga is being handled by Joven Jimenez, who is also the trainer of reigning International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, another protégé of the MP Promotions.
The success of the Barriga-Basapean fight card has prompted Pacquiao to put up more boxing promotions in China, according to Sy.
“China will now be the focus point of boxing in Asia,” according to Sy.
Basapean’s record fell to 33-7 overall, with 12 KOs.