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    Tall odds for 'Bulilit' as London Games near

    Jul 16, 2012
    Mark Anthony Barriga, far right, has adjusted to the weather as he completes his final buildup for the London Games, where  the Davaoeno is the lone hope in boxing. Jerome Arcano

    LONE Filipino boxing hopeful Mark Anthony Barriga has adjusted to the weather while training in Cardiff, Wales in the final stage of his preparations for the 2012 London Olympics.

    In an interview with Spin.ph, the 19-year old pride of Panabo City said he and national coach Roel Velasco arrived in Cardiff on July 5 to the warm embrace of the local Filipino community in the cold capital of Wales.

    Barriga, a product of the successful Barangay Una boxing program of former Davao del Norte congressman Tonyboy Floirendo, will be carrying the hopes of the entire nation as he campaigns in the light-flyweight division.

    “Naka-adjust na po ako sa weather dito,” Barriga said.

    Barriga said he and Velasco will head for London on July 24. “Dito po muna kami habang nagte-train ako para sa Olympics,” the boy nicknamed “Bulilit” said.

    Barriga, a quarter-finalist at the world championships in Azerbaijan last year, is facing tough odds in London. He considers China's Zhou Shiming -- who beat him in Azerbaijan -- as his toughest foe.

    His notable wins in international fights include the annual Sydney Jackson Memorial Tournament in Uzbekistan in the past two years.

    Davao fans meantime are excited with the prospects of a Davao-born athlete making a breakthrough in the quadrennial Games. 

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    Mark Anthony Barriga, far right, has adjusted to the weather as he completes his final buildup for the London Games, where  the Davaoeno is the lone hope in boxing. Jerome Arcano
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