LONDON (AP) — Light flyweight Mark Barriga, the only Filipino boxer in the Olympics, easily handled Italy’s Manuel Cappai and won 17-7 on Tuesday.
Two Cubans also advanced during the afternoon session at ExCel, and Indian light flyweight Devendro Singh Laishram recorded the quickest stoppage of the tournament.
Barriga’s one-sided win in his opening bout was an encouraging result for a strong boxing nation with little recent history of amateur success. The 19-year-old Barriga trained in Manny Pacquiao’s camp to prepare for the Olympics, earning the nickname “Little Pacquiao” in the Filipino media.
The 5-foot-2 slugger’s potent punching power suggests he was taking notes from the beloved Filipino congressman.