MANILA, Philippines – What he failed to do in 2018, Mark Anthony Barriga hopes to accomplish on Friday, June 24 (Saturday, June 25, Philippine time) when he tangles with Puerto Rican Jonathan Gonzalez at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida.
At stake in the 12-round battle is Gonzalez’s World Boxing Organization junior flyweight belt.
Barriga challenged, but lost to Carlos Licona via split decision in their collision for the vacant International Boxing Federation minimumweight title.
The 29-year-old Barriga has only fought twice against unheralded opponents since then, but remains confident of achieving his dream of becoming a world champion.
Toting a 25-3-1 record with 14 knockouts, the 31-year-old Gonzalez has been installed the favorite over Barriga (11-1 with 2 knockouts).
Oddsmakers put Gonzalez at -400, meaning a $400 bet on the Puerto Rican becomes $500 if he wins.
With Barriga a +250 underdog, a $100 bet on the pride of Panabo, Davao del Norte, becomes $350 if he prevails.
Gonzalez checked in at 107.6 pounds during the official weigh-in on Thursday, while Barriga came in lighter at 106.4.
Though Gonzalez has more pro fights, Barriga was a decorated amateur, bagging the 2013 Southeast Asian Games gold medal in Myanmar and clinching the bronze in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. Barriga also represented the country in the 2012 London Olympics, where he reached the round of 16.
Both Gonzalez and Barriga are southpaws and known as tacticians making for an interesting battle.
Barriga has yet to hit the canvas, while Gonzalez’s three losses were all by knockout. – Rappler.com