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Manny Pacquiao vs Jessie Vargas Fight Replay BoxNation Coverage
November 5, 2016 Manny Pacquiao vs Jessie Vargas at Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada for the WBO World welterweight title
Manny Pacquiao returns from retirement to strip Jessie Vargas of his world title
Manny Pacquiao returns from retirement to strip Jessie Vargas of his world title written by: Lind1988 Boxer turned senator Manny Pacquiao made a return after a long absence from the ring to defeat Jessie Vargas in a fiercely contested title bout. The popular welterweight boxer had retired from boxing in May to enable him devote adequate time to his legislative responsibilities.
In the eagerly awaited event that took place Saturday evening at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, Vargas had walked in hoping to defend his WBO Welterweight title from the world renown Filipino boxer. Vargas had won the title earlier in April by knocking out American welterweight boxer Sadam Ali.
A win by unanimous decision
Pacquiao won the WBO title by unanimous decision after taking on 27 year old Vargas up to the 12th round. The judges’ final scorecards read 114-113, 118-109, and 118-109 in favor of Manny.
Pacquiao looked set to win right from the start. He knocked down Vargas with a straight left hand in the second round and was evidently routing for a finish in the third round.
Floyd Mayweather ringside
The boxing arena at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas campus was packed with thousands of Pacquiao supporters who cheered him through every round. Chants of ‘Manny Manny!’ rented the air as Pacquiao took on his 10 years younger opponent round after round.
To add even more color to the Saturday night sporting event, world class boxer Floyd Mayweather was also present ringside. Mayweather’s presence sparked concerns on whether the Filipino ace will be facing him next following his victory against Vargas. Pacquiao is however yet to yes or no to a possible rematch against Mayweather. He only responded that they would see about that when the press asked him about it at the end of match.
The undefeated Mayweather floored Pacquiao in May 2, 2015 in a widely televised match which had been dubbed as the Fight of The Century. He was however later stripped of the unification title he had won after WBA found him guilty of flouting certain boxing rules. Pacquiao’s performance Saturday night was clearly way better than the one he put up against his boxing friend and foe in the same city in May last year.
Pacquiao and Vargas’ performances against each other
The match between Pacquiao and Vargas had been tipped to last up to the 12th round and this indeed did come true. Vargas himself had said prior to the match that he would fight Pacquiao toe to toe up to the 12th round or whichever round the senator would be able to go up to.
The first round started on a rather slow note for both fighters. It was the American who appeared more active in this round as he threw jab after jab at his Filipino rival. Pacquiao regained control to knock down Vargas in the second and to continue through to the end of third round with a series of accurate body punches on him.
In the 4th, 5th, and 6th rounds, Vargas was back to some top action with some well aimed right hands and excellent dodging of a few of Manny’s punches. Pacquiao however surged back to fierce performance by opening the 7th round with a powerful right hand that Vargas was unable to counter. Vargas at this point was struggling with vision having sustained a right eye injury from a jab in an earlier round.
The 8th round was also Pacquiao’s to head home with. He dealt Vargas powerful combinations that had him struggling to keep up with his opponent. Blood was streaming from Vargas’ injured eye at this instance. Pacquiao wrapped up this round with a right hand that landed on Vargas’ head.
Pacquiao’s stellar performance continued through to the 9th round. He threw straight lefts at Vargas in this round and did his best to miss almost all of Vargas’ right hands. His footwork was also excellent in this round.
Manny managed to send his opponent to the rope in the 10th by a succession of hard left hooks. Vargas was gasping for breath at this point. He attempts to take control with a right hand but Manny is clearly in charge of this round.
Pacquiao closes the match neatly
The 11th round was kind of a battle of equals. Pacquiao opened the round with two hard lefts which Vargas countered with a right to the head of Pacquiao. Vargas again aimed another hard right and Pacquiao responded with a right that knocked down Vargas. The referee Kenny Bayless however decided to spare Vargas a count terming the situation as a slip.
Pacquiao carried on with his energy from the 11th round in the last round of the match. He looked eager to seal victory at this point. Vagas was throwing rough body punches at this point but Manny was careful to stand through them all. Manny responded with a left that sent Vargas falling down again but the referee again ruled it as a slip. The curtains came down on the hard fought match at this point and Pacquiao was declared the winner by unanimous decision.
Vargas on his match experience and loss
Vargas (27-2, 10 KOs) described his match against Pacquiao as an exciting face off which felt somehow like a chess match to him given the way he and Pacquiao took on each other toe to toe. He has promised to come back stronger in his next match.
Pacquiao’s next move
Having beaten La Nueva Generacion Saturday night, many now wait to see what the 8 division champion’s next move will be. Speculations are rife that Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) could face either Floyd Mayweather or Terence Crawford in his next match.