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List of Articles by Rene Bonsubre, Jr.



By Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
02 May 2018

2012 Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga (8W-0L, 1KO) will make a major step in his professional career when he fights Gabriel Mendoza (29W-5L-2D,23KO’s) of Colombia at the SM City North EDSA Skydome in Quezon City, Metro Manila on May 13.

This fight will serve as an IBF world title eliminator for a shot at the reigning IBF world minimumweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (9-0,7KO’s) of Japan.

The 24 year old Barriga, who hails from Panabo City, Davao del Norte, is nearing his top form for this bout.

“He is very focused and nearing his peak performance,” Trainer Joven Jimenez told this writer. “We know Mendoza is a fighter so we trained hard for his style. Barriga is sparring with Joemar Caindog, Jerald Paclar and Samuel Salva.”

Caindog is from Zamboanga del Norte and sports an 8W-1L,4KO’s record, Paclar, from Iligan City, has a record of 14-4-2,7KO’s while Salva, also from Iligan, is undefeated at 13-0,9KO’s.

Barriga captured his first major ranking belt last year in Beijing when he beat Wattawas Basapean of Thailand by unanimous decision for the WBO International minimumweight title.

Mendoza is 38 years old but has world championship experience having lost to then IBF world champ Jose Argumedo of Mexico by 8th round TKO last year. Argumedo would then lose his title in his next defense to Kyoguchi by unanimous decision.

Set to appear on the undercard of Barriga vs Mendoza is former WBO junior bantamweight world champ Marvin Sonsona, who has been inactive since 2015. Sonsona will face Arief Blader of Indonesia. Former ALA Boxer AJ Banal will be pitted against Master Suro, also from Indonesia.

IBF world junior bantamweight world champion Jerwin Ancajas, who is hands down the jewel in Jimenez’s boxing stable, is also nearing his peak form for his title defense against countryman Jonas Sultan.

This fight was moved both in date and venue but the latest news reports has the fight set on May 26 with the Selland Arena of Fresno, California as the place for the historic all-Filipino battle.

Ancajas (29-1-1, 20KO’s) has added Jay-ar Magboo and Ernesto Saulong as sparring partners to prepare for Sultan in his training ground known as ‘Survival Camp’ in Cavite.

Magboo has 16-1-2 record and is a former IBF Pan Pacific titleholder but his record shows he has been inactive for almost four years. Saulong (21-3-1,8KO’s) lost last March in his world title shot in Japan to IBF junior featherweight champ Ryosuke Iwasa.

The 26 year old Ancajas, also from Panabo City, will be making his fifth title defense.

Ancajas is very much aware that he should not look past Sultan, who won the IBF Intercontinental junior bantamweight title in 2016 by TKO in the second round against Makazole Tete in South Africa. This victory vaulted Sultan in the IBF world rankings. Sultan then beat two former world champions last year – Sonny Boy Jaro (WBC flyweight) by 8th round KO and Johnriel Casimero (IBF jr.flyweight and IBF flyweight) by unanimous decision.

The 26 year old Sultan (14-3,9KO’s), who trains in the ALA Gym of Cebu, was born in Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte.

It has been 93 years since the Philippines first world boxing champion, Pancho Villa beat Clever Sencio by 15 round unanimous decision to retain his world flyweight crown. The fight was held in Wallace Field – now known as the Luneta- in Manila.

File photo – Mark Anthony Barriga (left) and Jerwin Ancajas in Beijing last year.

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