So far, so good for Mark Anthony Barriga
The former Olympian has had a dream start in his professional career, amassing three wins in just seven months.
Barriga credited his smooth transition to the people around him, among them are former interim WBA World titleholder Drian Francisco, and reigning IBF world champion and fellow Davaoeño Jerwin Ancajas. According to him, the two helped fasttrack his development as a boxer as he was able to get valuable tips from the two champions.
“Sobrang happy ko na magkasama kami. Unang-una si Kuya Drian, nauna na samin yan eh. Dati nakikita ko lang sa TV, ngayon kasama mo sa training camp, nakakasparring,” Barriga told Tiebreaker Times.
“Lalong lalo na si Jerwin, may mga time na partner kami ni Jerwin sa sparring. Para sa akin, sobrang thankful ako na magkasama kami, nagtutulungan kami. Alam ko sa sarili ko na mabilis akong mag-improve dahil sa kanila kasi mga world champion, world-class na sila eh.”
In his previous his fights, Barriga was able to showcase his speed and ring generalship to get the victory.
But he isn’t content with that.
The 23-year-old pugilist knows that he would not go far in the spot if he only relied on his current skillset
“Yung mga kalaban kasi hindi ganun kasimple patapusin, pabagsakin. Lumalaban sila so kailangan mo pa din gawin yung best mo sa training. Dito sa pros kailangan mas maimprove mo pa yung talent mo, yung power at skills kasi iba dito sa professional.
“Kumbaga ako sa amateur, okay,” he assessed. “Pero pagdating sa professional, malayo pa. Malayong, malayo pa. Maraming bigas pang kakainin ko dito sa professional. Maraming improvement na dapat gawin.”
As Barriga heads to his fourth fight, he plans to finally earn his first knockout win. He has been dying to show all his hard work in training, and to him, it will add more fulfillment to his fledgling career.
“Ang target ko talaga ngayon, gusto ko talaga makapabagsak. Ang sakin ngayon sa darating kong laban, kahit na sobrang pagod, pipilitin ko yung sarili ko na makakuha ng knockout. Gusto kong maranasan, gusto kong makapabagsak ng boxer.
“Yun yung iniisip ko ngayon para ma-encourage ko din yung sarili ko kaya sa training mas pinaghuhusayan ko pa dahil di naman ako makakapagpabagsak kung hindi ko paghuhusayan sa training di ba?,” he furthered.
“Kaya ginagawa ko lahat ng makakaya kong gawin at todo pakikinig lang kanila coach kasi alam nila kung ano yung dapat kong gawin,” he vowed.
Undefeated boxer and former Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga (3-0) fights tomorrow, February 18, 2017 at Makati Cinema Square. He takes on Jeven Villacite (4-5-4).