MANILA, Philippines – The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has junked the protest filed by the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP) over the controversial defeat of Mark Anthony Barriga to Kazakhstan’s Birzhan Zhakypov.
ABAP President Ricky Vargas had questioned the head butt warnings by the referee which led to 2 additional points for Barriga's opponent and Barriga's loss.
“The protest was rejected,” ABAP executive director Ed Picson said in an AKTV report.
He said the AIBA found the protest “too subjective to review.”
“What that means, I really don’t know,” said the ABAP official.
Barriga lost a tight contest to his Kazakhstan foe and bowed out of contention in the London Olympics amateur boxing on Saturday.
Zhakypov outpointed Barriga, 17-16, in a rough fight marred by occasional clinching and wrestling, especially in the third round.
The 19-year-old Filipino was ahead, 10-8, going into the third and final round but got the costly warnings in the third. A warning gives the opponent an additional 2 points.
Without the 2-point deduction, Barriga would have won the match and moved on to the quarterfinals.
Many Pinoys were saddened by the Barriga’s defeat. The lone Filipino boxer in the Olympics was believed to be the country's strongest medal hopeful.
However, they praised the Davao del Norte native for his effort.
“Barriga fought for no sponsors nor money, Pilipinas lang talaga ang ipinaglaban nya! We're proud of you Barriga! #LONDON2012,” said Ridge Santos through Twitter.
“Mark Barriga has made us proud, no matter what the result was. #PinoyPride shines bright all over the world because of him! Mabuhay ka Mark!” said Tony Atayde.
“Thank you for that valiant effort, mark barriga. For a brief moment you kept the nation's hopes alive #pinoypride #London2012,” said ABS-CBN news anchor Lynda Jumilla.
“Sakit!!! Lintek na ref yan!!! So proud of Barriga tho. I know how painful it is to be robbed of a victory,” said PBA coach Chot Reyes.