Barriga loss stands as protest is rejected

UPDATE 2: The Philippines' protest on the outcome of the light flyweight fight between Mark Anthony Barriga and Kazakhstan's Birzhan Zhakypov, which the latter won, 17-16, has been rejected.

In a telephone interview aired on AKTV, Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines executive director Ed Picson said that the jury ruled that the protest was subjective and not based on a technicality, adding the jury made the decision without watching a replay of the fight.

Reporter Lia Cruz of AKTV had earlier reported that the Philippines filed the protest on the grounds that a boxer must be warned three times first before incurring a penalty. Barriga was warned only once by referee Roland Nabbe, who then awarded Zhakypov two points.Without those extra two points, Barriga would have won, 16-15.

Earlier this week, a protest was filed by the United States following the loss of American boxer Errol Spence to India's Vikas Krishan in their welterweight bout. Krishan was declared winner, 13-11, but the competition jury said four additional points should have been awarded to Spence for fouls committed by the Indian. The protest was thus upheld, and Krishan's win was overturned.

Barriga was leading 10-8 heading into the third and final round, using his agility and quickness to stagger the taller Zhakypov in the first two rounds. But he visibly lost the sting in his punches in the third and final round.

Barriga appeared worn out as the 5-foot-6 Zhakypov put on the pressure in the last three minutes. The diminutive Filipino pug was then slapped by Labbe with a warning for excessive ducking, and this is where the two additional points were awarded to Zhakypov.

With the bout turning into a wrestling match, Labbe also gave both fighters a warning near the end of the bout. But it was the Davao-native fighter who paid the price dearly, as Zhakypov managed to win the third round 9-6.

That controversial call left Filipino officials, led by Picson, up in arms.

“A warning that was given means a two-point addition. That gave two points to the Kazakh. That’s the one that really hurts. We should have won by one,” lamented Picson in an overseas phone interview moments after the bout.

Barriga's campaign started with much promise after he easily beat Italy’s Manuel Cappai in the round of 32 by a score of 17-7.

Zhakypov will next face Beijing Olympics gold medalist Zou Shiming of China, who beat Cuba's Yosbany Veitia Soto, 14-11. Zou beat Zhakypov in the finals of the light flyweight division in the 2010 Asian Games.

Meanwhile, BMX rider Danny Caluag will see action on Wednesday, while Marestela Torres is slated to compete in the long jump early Wednesday morning.

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