Mark Barriga needs to have a longer staying power inside the ring.
His trainer and manager Joven Jimenez said this after his ward won via unanimous decision over Colombian challenger Gabriel Mendoza last Saturday in their International Boxing Federation minimumweight title eliminator.
The 24-year-old Barriga also felt he did not have enough staying power when he engaged Mendoza in a 12-rounder.
But, connecting strong punches in the early rounds gave the 2012 London Olympian enough points to hold off Mendoza.
“Nu’ng Round 9, iyung stamina niya, bumagal siya,” said Jimenez.
The 5’2” Barriga said he could have floored Mendoza in any round.
“Pero beterano. Kahit paano, naipakita ko na may konting improvement sa power,” said Barriga, who is now the no.1 mandatory challenger to Japan’s Hiroto Kyoguchi, the reigning International Boxing Federation 105 lb. Champion.
Jimenez said they are now getting ready to negotiate.
And it will be up to matchmaker Sean Gibbons to make the fight happen.
During the fight, judges Jonathan Davis and Zach Yang scored it 120-108 for Barriga, while Arnie Najera gave him a 119-109.
It was Barriga’s ninth straight win, with one coming by way of a knockout.