Did Manny Pacquiao make the right decision?
By Hector Franco
August 4, 2016
It was announced throughout social media and boxing websites last night that Manny Pacquiao has made his choice for his next opponent. That opponent would be WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas (27-1,10 KO’s). Many fans were anticipating a bout with 140-pound kingpin, Terence Crawford (29-0, 20 KO’s) instead. It seems from reports that Pacquiao’s team didn’t think that Crawford was the right choice for his return in November.
Freddie Roach recently stated to boxingscene.com that he felt that the fight with Crawford would need to wait because of Pacquiao’s training situation now that he is in the senate. Pacquiao’s longtime advisor, Michael Koncz, stated bluntly to the L.A. Times per boxingscene.com that Crawford would not be chosen because of his fighting style. This would be an assumption being made by Team Pacquiao, that the style in which Crawford fought Viktor Postol would be the norm for the Omaha native from this point forward.
Fans may be having a feeling of déjà vu with Pacquiao’s choice in Jessie Vargas. Going back to 2014, fans may remember when Pacquiao was facing Chris Algieri there were rumors that he may fight Jessie Vargas afterwards. What stopped that from occurring was that the Floyd Mayweather fight was made. Fast forward two years later; it looks like 2014 all over again. Pacquiao defeating Bradley once again and substitute Algieri for Vargas, fans could be seeing a rematch between Mayweather and Pacquiao in 2017.
Did Manny Pacquiao make the right decision in choosing Jessie Vargas? It depends on what he wants to do from here. Vargas stylistically is better suited for Pacquiao to not only win but also look good in doing so. With Vargas holding the WBO welterweight title, Pacquiao can regain a title that he held for most of his welterweight run. Vargas is a fighter that is in his prime and at this point, if Pacquiao is unable to defeat him soundly, it may finally be the signal for him to hang up the gloves. With this being the first fight Pacquiao is taking as a Senator and training full-time in the Phillippines, a fighter like Vargas would be better suited in anticipation that the training camp doesn’t go well.
The fight has yet to be announced by Top Rank. This means that the fight may be all but done, but until the contracts have been signed it’s not official. Jessie Vargas recently thought he had a fight set with Kell Brook to take place in August. That ended up going to the wayside as Brook ended up signing for a fight with Gennady Golovkin at middleweight. Vargas told boxingscene.com that he is excited, but still cautious until the fight is officially signed.
A PPV main event headlined by Pacquiao-Vargas doesn’t have the ingredients of a fight that will generate a bigger audience. Top Rank hopefully recognizes this as the company’s last two PPV events featuring Pacquiao-Bradley and Crawford- Postol flopped at the box office. Both events lost money for the company. Top Rank could put Crawford on the undercard of Pacquiao-Vargas against a quality opponent such as Adrien Broner, to help build a future fight between Crawford and Pacquiao. If Top Rank doesn’t do this or stack the undercard it may be a hard sell for casual and hardcore fans alike.
(Featured Photo: AFP/Getty Images)