Filipino former Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga was unsucessful in his first bid at a world championship, falling to Mexican Carlos Licona via split decision in their IBF Minimumweight World Championship contest at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Sunday afternoon Manila time.
Barriga started strong in the early rounds, but his Mexican counterpart pulled ahead as the fight progressed.
A late rally proved to be a bit too late, as two of the three judges scored the bout in favor of Licona, 115-113. The lone judge that scored the bout for Barriga also had it 115-113 for the Pinoy.
The 25-year old Danao, Cebu native made a name for himself as an amateur pugilist and brought home medals in the 2013 SEA Games and the 2014 Asian Games.
Barriga made his professional debut back in 2016, racking up consecutive wins in his first nine bouts to earn a shot at gold.
The loss to Licona is the first of his young career.
Licona meanwhile improved to a perfect 14-0 in his professional career.