After more than two years, Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga returns to the ring when he clashes against Junuel Lacar in s six-round bout that is part of the 10-card fight Saturday, March 27 at the International Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Mandaue City, Cebu.
Barriga, who participated in the 2012 London Olympics, last fought Dec. 1, 2018 at The Staples Center in Los Angeles where he lost to American Carlos Licona in a split decision for the vacant IBF world minimum weight title.
“We’re ready and all set for the 10-card fight, including Mark Barriga’s comeback,” said Omega Boxing Promotions trainer Julius Erving Naranjo in a phone interview with Manila Bulletin.
The event is implementing strict health measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and days before the meet, boxers, training, coaches and officials have been quarantined and had swab tests inside the bubble.
In the weigh-in Friday, Barriga tipped the scale at 109.2lbs, a bit heavier than Lacar at 108.3lbs.
Aside from competing in the 2012 London Olympics, Barriga won gold medal in the 2013 Myanmar Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and earned a bronze medal during the 2014 Incheon Asian Games in Korea.
A native of Danao, Cebu, the now 27-year-old Barriga turned pro in July 2016 and won his first nine fights, before losing to Licona in his US debut.
The 28-year-old Lacar, on the other hand, sports a ring record of eight wins, six by way of knockouts, six defeats and three draws. He lost to Mark Vicelles last October when Omega first organized a boxing event in the country under strict measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of 10 bouts are set on the 27th although the organizers, led by Pio Paulo Castillo III, divided it into two, five fights at 1 p.m. for Kumbati 8, and the other five at 6 p.m. for Kumbati 9.
Mark Vicelles meets Richard Rosales, Tomjune Mangubat faces Ryan Maano, Reggie Suganob collides with Paulo Sy, and Rodel Sunganob takes on Luiz Borjie in Kumbati 8, while Pete Apolinar battles Juanito Paredes, Carlo Bacaro tackles Allan Villanueva, Arthur Villanueva plays Bryan Tamayo and Benny Canete fights Reycar Auxilo in Kumbati 9.