Mark Anthony Barriga will be the lone Filipino boxer in the 2012 London Olympics after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) denied the appeal of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP) to give Charlie Suarez a wildcard slot.
In an email sent by AIBA to ABAP president Ricky Vargas, the world-governing body in boxing said that after numerous discussions with the International Olympic Committee, their request was returned since the IOC failed to find a suitable slot for Suarez.
“Following the Olympic Qualifying Guidelines approved by the IOC Executive Board, the next Best Boxer from the 2011 AIBA World Boxing Championships is supposed to be selected,” said in AIBA’s email. “Following the Competition Protocol list, we regrettably found out that your boxer does not meet the qualification to be the next Best Boxer in your continent. We would like to truly express our regret to inform you on such matter.”
Earlier this year, ABAP sent a request to AIBA to grant Suarez a wildcard slot in the 2012 London Olympics based on his performance in the Asian Qualifying Tournament in Kazakhstan, where he lost in the gold medal match against China’s Qiang Liu via controversial decision.
But despite the recent performances of Suarez plus the endorsement of Manny Pacquiao, the appeal was denied, leaving Barriga as the lone boxer in the 2012 Olympic boxing competition.
Barriga will compete in the light flyweight category, the same category in which Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco won the silver medal during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and Roel Velasco took home the bronze from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.