By Nick Giongco
LOS ANGELES—Mark Barriga’s US matchmaker was furious about the outcome of the Filipino fighter’s failed bid to win the International Boxing Federation (IBF) minimumweight title Saturday night at Staples Center.
Barriga lost on a 12-round split decision to Mexican-American Carlos Licona and Sean Gibbons said the IBF has assured him that the governing body will look into the appointment of two Hispanic judges despite orders to the California State Athletic Commission to practice neutrality.
Judges Eduard Hernandez Sr and Esther Lopez scored it 115-113 for Licona while Tom Carusone saw it for Barriga by the same score.
“It was a travesty,” cried Gibbons, who will meet up with Barriga and his camp when he arrives in Manila in two weeks to attend the 40th birthday of Manny Pacquiao.
Gibbons said the IBF may likely order a title elimination involving Barriga and another top ten contender to determine Licona’s mandatory challenger.
As for Barriga, who was making his US debut, the decision didn’t come as a shock.
“When it was announced that it was a split (decision) and not unanimous, I told myself that I had lost the fight,” said Barriga, who suffered his first loss in ten fights.
As the IBF prepares to look into Gibbons” claims, Barriga said he will devote his time to his family.
“I will take care of my family’s medical needs and be with them while I await what’s next,” said Barriga, who took a Philippine Airlines flight from LAX to Manila on Sunday night.