By WAYLON GALVEZ
Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga returns to the ring after more than two years of inactivity when he battles Junuel Lacar in a six-round bout that is part of Saturday’s 10-fight card at the International Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Mandaue City, Cebu.
Barriga, who showed action in the 2012 London Olympics, last fought on 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.
The event is implementing strict health measures due to the COVID-19, with the boxers, trainers, coaches and officials being quarantined before undergoing swab tests inside the bubble.
In the weigh-in Friday, Barriga tipped the scale at 109.2lbs, a bit heavier than Lacar (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 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.
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.