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Boxing: Barriga shrugs off Mayweather comparisons

Mark Anthony Barriga against Wittawas Bassapean of Thailand. Jerwin Ancajas' Facebook page

Even with only 9 fights under his name, defensive specialist Mark Anthony Barriga is making a name through his crafty style of boxing which looks similar to Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s.

But the Filipino Olympian shrugged off the comparison, citing that the only thing similar to their styles is the use of the shoulder roll. 

“Masaya din naman ako’t nakukumpara dahil sa shoulder roll,” said Barriga, who is due to take on Mexico’s Carlos Licona for the IBF mini-flyweight title this December 1.

“Kung titignan natin kasi magkaiba pa rin eh. Pero iba iba ang tingin ng mga tao, so tinanggap na din natin, hindi naman masama e.”

What Barriga appreciated is that people are beginning to recognize his ring prowess.

“Thankful lang ako dahil nakikitaan tayo ng mga skill. Nagkataon lang lang may similarity lang ang skills namin ni Mayweather pero hindi naman lahat,” he said.

One of his coaches, Sonny Dollente, who has been with Barriga since his Palarong Pambansa days, said the Danao, Cebu native has always been a skillful fighter.

“Noong sa Palarong Pambansa ‘yung bilis niya talaga nandoon na. Masarap nga siyang panoorin kasi wise siyang, magulang,” said Dollente. “Pwede siya sa labas, pwede sa loob. Ngayon sa dikitan mayroon na rin siya.”

What’s important, said Barriga, is that he gets to entertain the crowd. 
 
That’s what he promises when he fights Licona on the undercard of the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury heavyweight title fight on December 1 at Staples Center.

“Gusto kong maentertain ang mga tao… tsaka ayaw ko ng maraming rason, matalo manalo, walang rason para walang dapat sisihin. Ilalabas ko ang skills ko dito, lahat gagawin ko ditto,” he said.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)
 

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