Vargas vs. Pacquiao Manny looking for another title
By Chris Williams: Top Rank will be distributing the November 5 fight between WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas and Manny Pacquiao on pay-per-view without the help of their longtime partner HBO. The network passed on the option of televising the Vargas-Pacquiao fight. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is going to having his company put it on PPV. It’s unclear how many buys it’ll generate without the help of HBO.
There’s talk of the fight not being shown a week later on non-PPV. HBO always shows their PPV fights a week later on regular HBO. It looks like that won’t happen with Top Rank. That’s a potentially bad thing for the fighters, especially the non-stars like Terence Crawford.
If Arum is going to have his fighters on PPV, then they won’t be seen by many boxing fans if the fights aren’t interesting enough to be purchased by them. They won’t get a chance to see the fights the following week like in the past with HBO. In other words, it’ll be hard to turn these non-stars into stars if they’re only seen by a handful of fans.
“This is my first fight since I was elected as senator and it’s an honor for me to challenge the champion in the 147 weight division, which is Vargas,” said Pacquiao via Fightnews.com. “I respect him because he’s the champion; he’s the belt-holder of 147. It’s a big challenge for me to get that belt again to prove I can still manage serving the people and being a boxer.”
Pacquiao won’t be making the big money for the Vargas fight that he used to go. The only way Pacquiao could get the big money that he previously received is if a ton of boxing fans purchased the Vargas fight. This is not a fight that the fans are asking for.
Arum made the fight, but it’s just not a match that the fans are eager to see. Pacquiao needs guys like Adrien Broner, Saul Canelo Alvarez, Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Gennady Golovkin for him to have a chance of a big payday. I don’t think any of those fights will ever happen at this point. Pacquiao already fought Mayweather, and it looks like they’re not going to fight again.
Even if Pacquiao beats Vargas, he’s not likely going to do much other than get put in with Crawford. I think there will be tremendous pressure put on Pacquiao to fight Crawford in his next fight, whether he wins or loses to Vargas. I think the 84-year-old Arum really wants Pacquiao to fight Crawford.
It would make Crawford a bigger name if he could take Pacquiao’s scalp and add it to his collection of Top Rank scalps. However, Pacquiao is too old and past his prime for Crawford to become a star from beating him. I don’t think Arum realizes this or not, but Crawford doesn’t have a built in fan base like Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
This means that for him to become a big PP star, he needs to fight and beat top names, and he needs to have an exciting fighting style. Crawford is missing in both of those areas in my opinion. Arum can match Pacquiao against Crawford once, but it won’t make him a star. Arum will need to keep finding other guys for Crawford, and that’s where the problem lies. I don’t think Arum is going to be able to find non-Top Rank guys for him to be matched against.
“I know that I’m the underdog in this fight? But what’s changed? Let’s be honest,” said Vargas to fightnews.com. “The media has had me as the underdog so many times, but I came out victorious in all of them, and on one occasion I struggled but I found a way. I fight to the end…I am a two division world champion for a reason.”
Vargas, 27, isn’t too happy that the boxing fans see him as the sacrificial lamb for Pacquiao to slaughter. The fans still remember the news of how bad Vargas looked in his fight against Tim Bradley last year. They can’t forget that. The fans still remember how bad Vargas looked in his fights against Khabib Allakhverdiev, Anton Novikov and Antonio DeMarco. The fans have seen Vargas’ past fights, and he just has not looked good. He’s a champion, but more of a paper champion in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans.
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