by Nick Giongco
Mark Anthony Barriga, once the toast of amateur boxing, made a rousing professional debut late Saturday night in Cebu City.
In a six-round bout, Barriga scored a lopsided decision over Melvin Manaquil in the undercard of a show headlined by one of Philippine boxing’s rising stars, unbeaten super-bantamweight Jack Tepora.
Fighting ala Floyd Mayweather, Barriga frustrated Mananquil with his talent en route to winning on all three scorecards, 60-54, 59-55 (twice).
Before turning pro, Barriga, 23, represented the country in the world
championships and even in the 2012 London Olympics.
Seeing action in the Who’s Next promotional show of Omega Pro Sports based in Cebu City, Barriga is being groomed to return to the ring on Sept. 3 in Bacoor, Cavite.
Meanwhile, the world-rated Tepora easily took out Bryan Capangpangan in the first round after scoring four knockdowns.
Tepora boosted his record to 18-0 with 13 KOs.
Also a big winner was another undefeated light-fly Christian Araneta also posted an opening round destruction of Charlie Cabilla.
The victory raised Araneta’s mark to 12-0 with ten KOs.
Chad Canares, a high-ranking executive of Omega Pro Sports, believes Tepora and Araneta are future world champions.
“We’d like to discover new talents and I feel that we have potential world beaters here in Tepora and Araneta,” said Canares.