(UPDATED at 3 p.m., Nov 6, PH time) After a brief retirement, Filipino boxing legend and Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao came back to reclaim the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title from Jessie Vargas.
Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) defeated Mexican boxer (27-1, 10 KOs) via unanimous decision in Las Vegas on Sunday, November 6 (Saturday night in the US).
The judges scored the fight, 114-113; 118-109, and 118-109 for Pacquiao.
“I feel happy because I’m trying every round to try to knock him down. I’m trying. That’s why I am always aggressive but not careless,” said Pacquiao after the fight in a report by espn.com
One hundred forty-seven or 36 percent of Pacquiao’s punches out of 409 landed while Vargas only had 104 or 19 percent of his 562 punches, it said.
It was a close first round between the fighters, but in the second round Pacquiao landed a fast straight left hand that dropped Vargas.
Pacquiao kept up an intense attack in the third round as the crowd cheerd “Manny! Manny!” Pacquiao was jumping in and out and tagging Vargas with his left.
Vargas began to find his footing midway through the fight and manages to land a thudding right as the bell ended the sixth round.
The eighth round had Vargas backing Pacquiao up with a right, before Pacquiao unleashed a flurry. They traded shots, and Pacquiao connected with an overhand right in the final seconds.
Vargas emerged from the round with a bloody gash over his right eye. When Pacquiao nailed Vargas with a right hand in the ninth round, blood spurted from Vargas’ wound.
Pacquiao kept the pressure on in the 12th round but Vargas was tough and took plenty of hard shots, including a right hand that sent him backward in the final minute of the fight.
Asked about his career plan after his fight with Vargas, Pacquiao said he welcomed whoever the people would want him to fight.
“I don’t know. Who ever the people wants to fight me, I’m ok with that. I’m not picking any opponent or choosing any opponent. Whoever my opponent id, I will fight,” he said.
Pacquiao was WBO welterweight champion from 2009 to 2012, which included three title defenses, and in 2014-2015 with one title defense, according to boxingscene.com.
Pacquiao, 37, is 10 years older than Vargas.
Last Saturday, Nov. 5, both fighters tipped the scales.
Pacquiao came in at 144.8 pounds while Vargas weighed 146.5 pounds.
Pacquiao announced his retirement from the sport last April to focus on “serving the Filipino community” and spend time with his family.
The retirement came after Pacquiao defeated Timothy Bradley in their third match.
Pacquiao won a Senate seat in the May 2016 national elections.
For more stories on #UAAP79, click http://newscentral.ph/uaap-79/