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Barriga seeks new foe for IBF eliminator after Argumedo withdraws

Mark Anthony Barriga. Photo by Ryan Songalia
Fighters Network

Mark Anthony Barriga’s march to a title shot has taken a detour after a proposed IBF eliminator against Jose Argumedo fell out.

Barriga (8-0, 1 knockout), a 2012 Olympian from the Philippines, is ranked No. 3 by the IBF at 105 pounds, with the top two spots vacant. The 24-year-old says he’s remaining in training at “Survival Camp” for whomever he ends up facing.

“We’re just trying to secure the opponent because four of them bailed on him,” says Sean Gibbons, matchmaker for MP Promotions.

Argumedo, who had reigned for three defenses as IBF 105-pound titleholder before losing to current champ Hiroto Kyoguchi last July, withdrew from the eliminator to fight a rematch with Kyoguchi, Gibbons says. A spokesperson for the IBF confirmed that Argumedo had withdrawn from the fight but says no one has contacted the sanctioning organization about the rematch.

The IBF says Janiel Rivera (16-2-3, 10 KOs) of Puerto Rico, the No. 5-ranked contender, was sent a letter asking if he’d like to compete in the eliminator, and that he has until February 13 to respond.

Gibbons was in the Philippines for Barriga’s most recent fight, a 10-round decision over former amateur teammate Glenne Calacar last December in Makati City, and also got an up-close look in his previous fight when Barriga shut out Thailand’s Samartlek Kokietgym in China. Gibbons gave high marks to Barriga for those performances.

“I’m very high on Mark Barriga, and I’m a guy that doesn’t watch 105-pounders box. The only time I watch guys like that is at the horse track,” said Gibbons.

“With this kid there’s something special. He reminds me of an Ivan Calderon and a (Vasyl) Lomachenko if they had a baby. He’s like The Matrix in there.”

Magali moves on

Carlo Magali may have missed out on his first opportunity for a world title, but he won’t be staying idle for long.

Magali (23-9-3, 12 KOs) will defend his OPBF junior lightweight title against Yoon Sung Kim (10-0-1, 8 KOs) on April 29 in Yesan City, South Korea.

Magali, 31, of Talibon, Bohol, Philippines, had accepted a fight with WBC junior lightweight titleholder Miguel Berchelt set for today, February 10, but the fight was kiboshed by the Games and Amusements Board in the Philippines because Magali had not completed the mandatory 45-day rest period after his 10th-round stoppage of Masatoshi Kotani on January 13 in Tokyo, Japan.

“His trainer (Ninolito Jalnaiz) said he’s a little bit disappointed because he expect a postponement, but he said maybe his time has not yet come,” said Magali’s manager, Brico Santig. “Just be patient. He said a title shot will come soon.”