Light-flyweight contender Mark Anthony Barriga lost a close 17-16 encounter to Kazakhstan’s Birzhan Zhakypov Friday, signaling the end of the road for the lone Filipino boxer in the London Olympics.
Barriga was leading the match, 10-8, heading into the third round, when a visibly desperate Zhakypov became more aggressive. The Kazakh wrestled Barriga to the ground three times, but it was the Filipino fighter who got a warning for ducking and headbutting late in the round, giving Zhakypov two extra points that ended up being the difference in the match.
The loss spoiled the sensational second round by Barriga, which he won 6-3. The 19-year-old Barriga, whose stamina was tagged as a weak spot in his arsenal, looked visibly winded to end the fight.
Zhakypov moves on to an encounter with defending champion Zou Shiming of China in the next round.