Pacquiao: I’m fighting Vargas because he is a champion
By Allan Fox: Manny Pacquiao upset a lot of boxing fans on Wednesday when he revealed that he’ll be fighting WBO light welterweight champion Jessie Vargas (27-1, 12 KOs) in his next fight on November 5. Some of the boxing public wanted to see Pacquiao fight Terence Crawford, while others wanted to see him face the likes of Keith Thurman. Vargas is a good option because he’s a world champion, and he looks to be improving from the performance he put in against Tim Bradley last year. Vargas seems to be sitting down more on his shots than he used to in the past, and this will make him a threat to beating Pacquiao on November 5th.
Crawford was obvious choice simply because he’s in the same Top Rank stable as Pacquiao and he’d been mentioned as an option for Pacquiao by their promoter Bob Arum. If Arum had included other guys like Thurman, Danny Garcia or Adrien Broner, then one of them likely would have been the preferred choice for Pacquiao instead of Crawford.
Arum reportedly offered Pacquiao the option of picking Vargas or Crawford and he went with Vargas. if Arum really wants/or needs Pacquiao to fight Crawford next time around, then he’ll need to think about having him as the only choice. That way the Filipino fighter won’t have any choice but to fight Crawford.
Pacquiao told espn.com that he selected Vargas “because he is a champion.” If Pacquiao had agreed to fight Crawford, it would have meant that he would have needed to get down to the light welterweight division to fight him at 140, because that’s the weight that the Omaha, Nebraska fighter said that the fight would need to be fought at.
It appears that Crawford overplayed his hand by telling Pacquiao that he would need to move down in weight to fight him at 140, because he doesn’t have the clout to make those kinds of requests. If Pacquiao was thinking of fighting Crawford, then he might not have been too pleased after hearing that information.
“Boxing is my main source of income. I can’t rely on my salary as a public official,” Pacquiao said to espn.com. “I’m helping the family of my wife and my own family, as well. Many people also come to me to ask for help, and I just couldn’t ignore them.”
If Pacquiao is going to keep fighting, then he needs to continue to win if he wants to stay in position for a big money rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017. Pacquiao made $100 million for the Mayweather fight last year. If he can get even half of that, he would walk away with $50 million. That’s very good money and a lot more than what he makes as a senator. That job doesn’t pay anywhere close to the kind of money that Pacquiao makes for his typical fights.
Pacquiao might need to take the initiative if he wants to try and get a rematch with Mayweather. It was Pacquiao that met with Mayweather at a basketball game last year to arrange a fight with him. It’s doubtful that the fight would have ever happened if Pacquiao had waited for his promoter Bob Arum to put the fight together. Instead of fighting Mayweather, Pacquiao likely would have been stuck fighting Arum’s Top Rank guys like Crawford and whoever else Arum wanted to match him with his stable. Arum put Pacquiao in with Tim Bradley last April. Bradley is one of Arum’s fighters too.
“Yes, the fight is on. I have agreed to a Nov. 5 fight with reigning WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas,” Pacquiao said. “Boxing is my passion. I miss what I’d been doing inside the gym and atop the ring.”
if Pacquiao chooses to continue hs career after the Vargas fight, it’ll be interesting to see who he winds up facing if Mayweather doesn’t come out of retirement to face him. Does Pacquiao do his promoter Arum a favor and fight Crawford or does he tell him to find someone else that is more stationary and more willing to have a fight.
Pacquiao looked good in his last fight against Bradley. He dominated Bradley in winning an easy 12 round decision. It was an exciting fight because Bradley came to punch with him and the two of them were able to trade shots.
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