The Philippines’ lone hope in boxing opened his London 2012 campaign in sensational fashion, defeating Italian Manuel Cappai, 17-7.
Mark Anthony Barriga dominated the first round of the light-flyweight match, luring his much taller opponent into a barrage of counterpunches. He tagged his opponent with a right that staggered the Italian, before a combination led to a standing eight-count for Cappai to end the opening round with a 5-2 lead.
Cappai tried to be more aggressive in the second round, getting warnings for hitting Barriga at the back of the head. But the wily Filipino proved to be too elusive, upping his lead to 9-4 after the second round.
Barriga put on a boxing display in the third round, showing his skills as he cruised to the victory.
The Filipino fighter from Panabo City, Davao del Norte will next face Birzhan Zhakypov of Kazakhstan on Saturday.