By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao and World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Jessie Vargas will give the fight fans the fight they want to see on November 5 in their match at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Pacquiao vs. Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) fight will likely be a more entertaining fight than Pacquiao vs. Terence Crawford, a fighter that was one of the options for Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) to choose from.
The difference between Vargas and Crawford’s style of fighting is like night and day. While Vargas will be coming forward to slug all night long against Pacquiao, Crawford likely would have been moving constantly, looking to counter punch, and not standing in place for any length of time.
The Pacquiao vs. Vargas fight still doesn’t have the venue, and it’s still not determined which network will televise the fight on pay-per-view. What we do know is that it won’t be televised on HBO. They already have Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev fight on PPV for November, and they don’t plan on having a second PPV fight card. This makes it more likely that the Ward-Kovalev fight will bring in respectable PPV buys.
“It [Pacquiao-Vargas match] is going to be a perfect fight, a pretty much entertaining fight because style creates good fight,” Koncz said to The Manila Times. “Pacquiao and Vargas will surely give the fans a really good fight that they’ve wanted. That’s my only comment.”
Koncz is right about the Pacquiao vs. Vargas fight being an entertaining fight. I think it’ll be more entertaining than Pacquiao’s last five fights against Tim Bradley, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Chris Algieri, Bradley [again] and Brandon Rios. Those fights stretch out all the way to 2013. You have to go back all the way to Pacquiao’s fight against Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, where you’ll find an exciting fight involving Pacquiao. His matches since then have lacked drama.
Vargas, 27, is going to make sure there’s a lot of drama on November 5 because he plans on taking the action to Pacquiao in order to get the win. Vargas isn’t under any illusions about whether he can win a decision against Pacquiao if it’s close. Vargas realizes that he’s got to give Pacquiao a real whipping for him to have a chance of getting the victory. It’s even better for Vargas if he takes the judges out of the equation entirely by him knocking out Pacquiao. We’ve already seen that Pacquiao is vulnerable to head shots. Vargas could use his new punching power to score a knockout on November 5.
“I will do my best for the fans. I can still show how competitive I’ am even I’m busy. Boxing is my passion and I just can’t let it go. I can still fight and that’s my main job,” Pacquiao said.
It would be nice if Pacquiao scored a knockout in this fight because he hasn’t knocked anyone out since 2009. No one knows why Pacquiao stopped knocking out his opponents after 2009. All they know is that up until 2009, Pacquiao was knocking out everybody he faced.
Pacquiao knocked out six out of eight of his opponents from 2006 to 2009. Since Pacquiao’s last knockout win over Miguel Cotto in 2009, he’s fought 11 times and knockout no one. That’s pretty sad. Pacquiao has the perfect opponent for him to KO in Jessie Vargas.
This is a guy that leads with his face and likes to slug. If Pacquiao can’t KO Vargas, then you can pretty much forget about him ever knocking anyone out for the remainder of his career unless his promoter Bob Arum feeds him someone beatable in his next fight after Vargas if there is another opponent.
I wonder how Arum took the news that Pacquiao chose Vargas rather than Terence Crawford. I get the feeling that if the decision were up to the 84-year-old Arum, he would have matched Pacquiao against Crawford with a big smile across his face. That would be the perfect fight for Top Rank in order for them to have a successor to Pacquiao after he hangs up his gloves, which could come at any time.
Pacquiao is probably a bad performance or one loss from retirement. I can’t see him continuing his career if he loses to Vargas if he’s made to struggle badly. It depends though. If Pacquiao needs a lot of cash to keep his political career humming, then I can see him sticking it out even if he loses to Vargas.
Naturally, Pacquiao’s pay-per-view buys will likely drop off from that point on unless he gets a big scalp from a popular non-Top Rank fighter like Keith Thurman, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Adrien Broner or Danny Garcia. I don’t see Pacquiao being able to pump up his PPV buys by beating Crawford or some of Arum’s other Top Rank stable fighters. It’s going to take some real stars and guys that bring in ratings and fans, and that’s not going to be Crawford. That’s why it’s important for Pacquiao to beat Vargas so that he can keep the gravy train going and continue to make decent cash.
Vargas says he wants to give Pacquiao a real whipping when he gets him inside the ring on November 5. Vargas seems to realize that this is his one big chance to make it big. If he loses the fight, then he’ll be back to square one with his career. That’s going to be hard for him because he probably won’t have any real options to climb out of that hole other than fighting a rematch against Tim Bradley, who soundly beat him by a 12 round unanimous decision a year ago. It’s doubtful that Bradley is too keyed up for a needless rematch against Vargas, especially if it involves fighting him after he loses to Pacquiao. If Bradley is stuck between having to choose between fighting Vargas again and some other non-popular Top Rank fighter, then it’s going to be sad for the former two division world champion.
All I can say is that if Pacquiao gets knocked out in this fight against Vargas, then I hope there isn’t havoc inside the ring like there was when Pacquiao was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012. That was pretty sad.