Who cares about Pacquiao vs Vargas? | Inquirer Sports
Bare Eye

Who cares about Pacquiao vs Vargas?

/ 02:36 AM August 25, 2016

WHO THE hell is Jessie Vargas? The sidestreet Pinoy boxing fanatic wants to know the caliber of this fighter whom Manny Pacquiao will meet in a championship duel in Las Vegas on Nov. 5.

“Sino ba si Vargas, tindero o sapatero?” wondered Louie Sanyano, shortish, peppery meat-cleaver in the Mandaluyong City wet market. First time he has heard about the Las Vegas-based WBO welterweight champion.


Going by what has transpired on the way to nailing a Nov. 5 fight against Manny Pacquiao, Vargas was practically unheard of hereabouts.

* * *


In fact, before the name of Vargas came up, there was high expectation Pacquiao, after inexplicably unretiring, would be clashing with the unbeaten Terence Crawford, undisputed world junior welterweight king.

For the record, a Nov. 5 fight was reserved ahead for Pacquiao in Las Vegas by promoter Bob Arum. Sorry, but as Pacquiao’s tight schedule in the Philippine Senate would leave him not enough time to properly train and prepare for a big fight, Arum had to put up a substitute foe.

Pitting Pacquiao against the reigning WBO 147-lbs. ruler sounded good enough; but the general view that it was a made-to-order easier fight (for the Filipino boxing superstar) lingered.

* * *

There was the bigger problem of how to sell the bout, which HBO has refused to distribute.

Out in Las Vegas, book makers have tabbed Pacquiao a -1000 favorite, meaning a $1000 bet on the Pacman pays only $100. For Vargas, a +550 underdog, a $100 bet pays $550.

An awful longshot indeed, but don’t tell that to Vargas.


* * *

“It’s going to be action-packed, fan friendly fight,” Vargas told Fight Saga.

How and why?

“It will be similar to the first Manny Pacquiao-Erik Morales fight,” Vargas said. “There will be blood, sweat and tears, a sure candidate for Fight of the Year.”

* * *

Vargas said the Pacquiao fight has been seen by detractors as one bout he isn’t supposed to win. “This is one more chance to prove my detractors incorrect,” he said.

Continued Vargas: “I have fought and beaten several undefeated fighters who, promoters thought, would be superstars.”

Vagas singled out Golden Boy’s Sadam Ali, peddled hard as one ready to be a champ. Ali got blown out by Vargas in nine rounds.

* * *

But isn’t this the same Vargas who got beaten by Timothy Bradley, a favorite Pacquiao whipping boy?

Vargas’ trainer, Dewey Cooper, a former cruiserweight contender, contends that lone loss by Vargas (27-1) was quite controversial and cannot be counted as a legit setback.

“The best of Vargas is yet to come,” Cooper vowed.

* * *

Cooper said Vargas will always go up and elevate.

“This fight is for me,” Vargas said. “Every great fighter throughout history has won a big fight they were expected to lose.”

Note: This is only the first time Vargas, ten years younger, would be clashing with a powerful, speedy, experienced warrior of Pacquiao’s class and legendary stature.

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TAGS: Boxing, Jessie Vargas, Manny Pacquiao, Pacquiao Last Fight opinion
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