By Rob Smith: Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez are being given the choice of between Jessie Vargas and Vyacheslav Senchenko for their tune-up fights next April. Pacquiao will be fighting on April 13th, and he reportedly will be given the first pick of the two, according to Manila Bulletin, and Marquez will be selecting whichever fighter is left over.
Vargas is a Top Rank fighter, and that’s obviously he’s being mentioned. Senchenko is promoted by another company and his name doesn’t make as much sense.
Pacquiao and Marquez are getting tune-ups in before they meet up next September in a fifth fight. Pacquiao was knocked cold by Marquez in the 6th round last month, which is why the interest in a tune-up. Marquez doesn’t need a tune-up and he should probably tell say no to fighting Senchenko or Vargas because those aren’t interesting choices. Marquez’s promoter should look at finding his own opponent for Marquez so that it can be someone that actually gets him ready for Pacquiao’s fighting style.
Senchenko and Vargas are about as far away that you can get to being similar to Pacquiao. Both are tall, both like to jab and are pure boxers in the traditional sense. Marquez needs a southpaw around the same height as Pacquiao with speed. Mercito Gesta would be perfect if Arum allowed Marquez to fight him. I doubt that he would be because Arum is trying to make a star out of Gesta and he looked awful in losing to IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez recently.
Senchenko won his last fight against Ricky Hatton in stopping him in the 9th round last November. My guess is Pacquiao will choose Senchenko unless leans on him to fight his guy Vargas. Senchenko is probably the easier fight because he likes to slug and Pacquiao does well against those types of fighters.
Vargas, 23, has been facing weak opposition since beating Josesito Lopez by a controversial 10 round split decision in September 2011. Vargas is a lot like Tim Bradley and it’s hard to see why Arum signed him because he doesn’t have the power to beat the top fighters in the division. If he faces Pacquiao, he’ll likely try and box him all night and it could be a boring fight.