Suarez, Barriga boost bids for Asiad berths


Gold medal prospects Charly Suarez and Mark Anthony Barriga strengthened their respective bids for spots in the Philippine team that will compete in the 17th Asian Games in Incheon following the conclusion of two-day boxoffs at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

Suarez stamped his class over a rugged Allan Tanada, a body-punching professional in their three-round lightweight (60 kgs) slugfest, according to the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (Abap).

A veteran of the World Series of Boxing and a two-time Southeast Asian Games champion, the 25-year-old Suarez had also beaten Junel Cantancio during the first day of the screening over the weekend.

Cantancio had to beg off after doctors said resumption of training would only worsen his back spasms.

Pro boxers were invited to fight because members of the training pool are injured.

Suarez, fresh from a silver medal finish in a tournament in Kazakhstan, displayed superior speed and precision-punching in making heads turn against the Cebu-bred Tanada, who came into the match with a 13-2-3 win-loss-draw record with five KOs.

Barriga, who fought in the 2012 London Olympics, also showed his superiority over fellow national team mainstay Rogen Ladon in their light-fly (49 kgs) encounter.

Employing quick footwork and combination punching, the 21-year-old Barriga was awarded a split decision over the gutsy Ladon.

There were also four other matches on tap with bantam (56 kg) Mario Fernandez getting past Jestoni Autida of the Jonathan Penalosa Stable, who subbed for Jonas Bacho.

In the flyweight class, Ian Clark Bautista will mostly likely lead the country in the 52 kg division after beating Roldan Boncales of General Santos City.

Saludar, coming off a silver medal performance in the same Kazakh tournament where Suarez also placed second, has been ruled out owing to a rotator cuff injury.

By : Nick Giongco, Mb.Com.Ph

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