Pacquiao beats Vargas, captures WBO title

Making his comeback to the sport, Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) showed that he had too much speed and talent for WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas (27-2, 10 Kos), who he defeated tonight by a 12 round unanimous decision to win his WBO title in front of a large crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight was televised by Top Rank pay-per-view rather than HBO.

The judges scored the fight 114-113, 118-109 and 118-109. Boxing 247 could only give round six to Vargas, because he was too passive and waiting too much in the fight. Pacquiao knocked Vargas down with a left to the head in the 2nd round. Vargas went on the defensive after the knockdown and pretty much stayed that way the entire fihgt. Vargas only has himself to blame for the loss, considering that he fought to survive rather than to win.

Vargas suffered a cut over his right eye from a clash of heads in the 8th round. Pacquiao had Vargas completely figured out by that point in the fight, and had an easy time out-boxing him the rest of the way.

The final punch stats showed that Pacquiao landed the higher percentage of his shots in connecting on 36% of his shots on 409 punches thrown with 147 connecting. Vargas landed 104 of 562 punches with a 19 percent connect percentage. One of the reason for the low connect percentage of Vargas was because he chose to stay on the outside and not come in punching range. Vargas’ entire game plan was centered on him throwing right hands to try and catch Pacquiao when he was coming forward rather than coming after him to land his shots. That’s the only way that you can connect with a high percentage of shots against Pacquiao by attacking him. If you hang back and hope to counter him, then you end up with a low percentage of shots like what we saw with Vargas tonight.