Manny Pacquiao will face Jessie Vargas on November 5th

Manny Pacquiao will face Jessie Vargas on November 5th

By Hector Franco

August 10, 2016

Jessie Vargas lands a right hand on Sadam Ali en route to winning the WBO welterweight title. Photo: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

Jessie Vargas lands a right hand on Sadam Ali en route to winning the WBO welterweight title. Photo: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

Fans have finally gotten the answer to who will be Manny Pacquiao’s opponent this upcoming November. It comes as no surprise that Jessie Vargas was chosen for Pacquiao’s comeback. Vargas who is promoted by Top Rank promotions represents the perfect opponent for the Senator at this point in his career. 

Vargas holds the WBO welterweight title and will participate in giving Pacquiao his most exciting fight since the fourth Marquez fight in December 2012. Vargas unlike Terence Crawford isn’t ranked as one of the fighters in the world pound for pound, but is a clear top ten welterweight. Vargas is also ten years younger than Pacquiao and coming off the biggest victory of his career. 

At this stage of his career, Vargas is at his most confident. Before the Pacquiao fight was made he signed to face IBF welterweight champion, Kell Brook in a unification fight to take place in the U.K. 

The fight will have its critics as Pacquiao is expected to take on certain challenges every time he steps in the ring. In comparison, to other welterweight fighters Pacquiao is past his prime and his best days are clearly behind him. With a training regimen that will consist of him working as a full-time Senator in the Philippines, taking on a prime welterweight titleholder is hardly a soft touch. 

WBC welterweight champion, Danny Garcia it can be argued will be taking on his third overmatched opponent in a row if he faces, Andre Berto next. Andre Ward is who widely considered one of the best fighters in the world has faced Paul Smith, Sullivan Barrera, and Alexander Brand in his last three fights. None of these fighters are two-division champions like Jessie Vargas and are clearly levels below the WBO welterweight champion. At the very least we can expect an exciting fight on November 5th. 

“Yes, the fight is on. I have agreed to a November 5 fight with reigning WBO welterweight champion, Jessie Vargas. Boxing is my passion. I miss what I’d been doing inside the gym and atop the ring.” – Manny Pacquiao

It has to be speculated as to why Pacquiao is even coming back to boxing. He has nothing left to prove in the sport and is a first ballot Hall-of-Famer. A win against Jessie Vargas will garner him another world title to add to his collection. Boxing is riddled with fighters overstaying their welcome in the sport. The biggest factor in these situations is money. It will be no different for Pacquiao. 

“Boxing is my main source of income. I can’t rely on my salary as public official. I’m helping the family of my wife and my own family, as well. Many people also come to me to ask for help and I just couldn’t ignore them.” – Manny Pacquiao

Time is undefeated in all sports. It will eventually catch up to even the greatest of fighters. At 37 years old with a training camp that could prove to be hectic and dysfunctional, Pacquiao seems ripe for the picking for a younger fighter. Vargas may not be that fighter, but if he is this will surely be the final nail in the coffin for Pacquiao’s career. 

“My entire training camp will be held here in the Philippines so I can attend to my legislative works. This is my campaign promise and I’m determined to keep It.” – Manny Pacquiao

It’s clear that Pacquiao is no longer the box office powerhouse he was four years ago. Not only are fans not buying his PPV’s, but also Senator Pacquiao has not been good for business. The Philippines is a different country with a separate set of morals and cultural traits than the United States. Pacquiao’s statements regarding Gay Marriage and the Death Penalty have been controversial and have turned off a large segment of his former fan base. 

Top Rank will have their work cut out for them promoting Pacquiao-Vargas. The only hope is that when the two men step in the ring, fans can see a glimpse of the fighter that was once considered the most exciting fighter in boxing. 

(Featured Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank)

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