He may have lost out on a big unification meeting with IBF champ Kell Brook, but reigning WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas believes he is on the verge of a much bigger fight: one with the soon to return Manny Pacquiao. As fans have read, superstar Pacquiao is, according to his promoter Bob Arum, set to return to action in November, in Las Vegas. Vargas, 27-1(10) and beaten only by Pacquiao common opponent Tim Bradley, told media members in Vegas yesterday how he feels he is very close to getting the Nov. 5 date with Pac-Man.
“I am the WBO welterweight champion and he wants to return to fight for this belt,” Vargas said as quoted by The National. “The fight is still under negotiation and I can say that soon we will announce it, although I do not want to advance because in boxing everything can change every minute. Manny has never faced someone like me. I’m at my best, I have several advantages. I’m taller and faster than him. I’m a really smart fighter too. I not only want to face him but I want to beat him. Juan Manuel Marquez did it and I want to beat him too, mainly because at his best he gave many headaches to Mexico fighters.”
Indeed there was a time when Pacquiao was defeating so many great Mexican fighters he was unofficially dubbed “The Mexicutioner.” But as Vargas said, Marquez gained revenge in stunning fashion, when he sensationally KO’d Pacquiao in the final meeting of their fierce rivalry in 2012. But if Vargas were to fight Pac-Man and beat him, it would still be huge news as well as a massive moment in the 27-year-old’s career. But can Vargas beat the southpaw dynamo?
Even at age 37, Pacquiao is a top, top fighter, as he showed back in April when he comprehensively defeated Bradley in their third fight. Vargas may be taller than Pacquiao, but is he really faster as the Mexican/American claims? And when Vargas says Manny has never before faced anyone like him, has he ever faced anyone with the lethal arsenal Pacquiao possesses? After all he’s been through trying to get himself a big fight, Vargas does deserve one, and he seems pretty convinced he has a real chance of getting the date with Pacquiao.
It might not be as great a match-up (or as dangerous a match-up, for Pacquiao anyway) as a Pacquiao-Terence Crawford fight, but Vargas-Pacquiao is a good, solid fight. Let’s see if Pac-Man wants to get in there with Vargas, a man a full decade his junior, who has never been stopped.