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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Staying busy is key

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
02 Dec 2018



LOS ANGELES. In a fight that’s more than likely to go the distance, Mark Anthony Barriga must let his hands go and stay busy if he hopes to repulse Mexico’s Carlos Licona for the vacant IBF minimumweight title at the Staples Center here this morning (Manila time).

Former WBC lightflyweight champion Rodel Mayol, who helps out Barriga’s team, said it’s time to walk the talk. Barriga likes to wear a shirt that has the words “Talk Is Cheap, Just Do It” on the front. Forget the talk, said Mayol, now is the time to let Barriga’s fists do the talking.

Mayol said the judges must be thoroughly convinced to give Barriga the rounds he deserves. He mentioned that the judges are Esther Lopez of New Mexico, Tom Carusone of Connecticut and Edward Hernandez, Jr. of California while the referee is Jerry Cantu of California. Two judges are Hispanic. Licona was born in Mexico City but lives in California. His trainer Robert Garcia and manager Mikey Garcia both live in California like two of the judges.

“You can’t help it but maybe the judges will give a lot of credit to Robert (Garcia),” said Mayol. “It’s the respect. I was recently in the corner of Aston Palicte who’s promoted by Roy Jones in the fight against Donnie Nietes. It was a close fight and I thought there were rounds that the judges gave to Aston more because of respect for Jones who hasn’t produced a world champion in his new group. So my advice to Mark is to stay busy, not just throw one punch at a time like in the amateurs. This is now the pros. He has to time his punches in three seconds, like 1-2-3 then step out. Dapat masipag siya at maraming suntok. ‘Yan ang hinahanap ng mga judges. Pasugod si Licona so he’ll be standing right in front of Mark who has to be busier.”

Mayol said he recalls Licona sparring with Nietes and Brian Viloria at the Wild Card Gym some years back. “It’s a 50-50 fight,” he said. “Mark just has to do more than Licona. When he comes in, Mark has to be ready to fire and throw a lot of punches. Combinations will score points. From a power point of view, Mark is stronger.”

Mayol, 37, has lived in Los Angeles for 13 years. He retired from boxing in 2012 with a record of 31-6-2, including 22 KOs. The father of three (his oldest Bryce is now 15), Mayol spent a week in the Philippines to attend his 56-year-old father’s wake in Mandaue and returned here last Wednesday. His father was a former security guard who made a living transporting passengers in a tricycle that Mayol gave him and tidying up Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s house when he’s called to do it. Now, Mayol trains fighters, mostly from J. C. Manangquil’s Sanman stable, at the Wild Card Gym.

Instead of renting rooms in a hotel, Barriga’s team is staying in an “airbnb” apartment with four bedrooms near downtown Los Angeles. In the team are Jimenez, IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, assistant trainer Delfin Boholst, cutman Todd Makelim, Rio Olympian Charly Suarez and ring announcer Mark Lontayao. International matchmaker Sean Gibbons and his son Brendan are taking care of the Filipino entourage.


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