Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas – Full Fight Preview

Pacquiao vs. Vargas

Pacquiao vs. Vargas – Tale of the Tape

Manny Pacquiao Jessie Vargas
Record 58-6-2 27-1
Country Philippines USA
Age 37 27
Height 5’5 1/2″ 5’10”
Reach 67″ 71″
KO% 58% 36%
Last 5 4-1, 0 KOs 4-1, 1 KO

Pacquiao vs. Vargas – Fight Preview

Pacquiao-Vargas will take place on November 5th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The bout will be televised on Top Rank PPV (9 PM Eastern time). Brian Kenny and Stephen A. Smith will commentate the card live. The fight will pit future Hall-of-Famer Manny Pacquiao against a young champion in Jessie Vargas.

Jessie Vargas wants to become a superstar, and he is now one win away from becoming one. The Top 10 welterweight came close to beating Timothy Bradley in 2015 and was in talks to face Britain’s Kell Brook earlier this year. However, Brook pulled out of the potential fight in order to move up and fight Gennady Golovkin. With this fight against Pacquiao, Vargas has a chance to rocket to the top of the division and pursue big fights with the likes of Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Brook, etc. Vargas’ most recent win is a 9th round TKO over the previously-undefeated Sadam Ali.

Vargas possesses underrated power, good hand speed, and a solid chin. Against Sadam Ali and Tim Bradley, Vargas proved he could take a punch and brawl. The 27-year-old Mexican-American likes to use his left hook both to the head and to the body and possesses good overall boxing fundamentals. However, Vargas can get tired and a bit wild near the end of a long fight, though he is still a young fighter and is improving with each fight.

Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao is an all-time great fighter. The only 8-division world champion in boxing history, Pacquiao has beaten legends like Erik Morales, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, and Miguel Cotto in his Hall-of-Fame career. Following a short “retirement” after beating Timothy Bradley for a second time (unofficially for the third time), Pacquiao chose Jessie Vargas to be his next opponent over other fighters like Top Rank’s Terence Crawford.

Pacquiao is almost 38, but he still displays his trademark power, athleticism, and speed that have made him the most exciting fighter since Mike Tyson. Recently, Pacquiao knocked down the tough Tim Bradley twice in April en route to a unanimous decision win and buzzed the bigger Floyd Mayweather multiple times in May of last year. Pac-Man’s biggest weakness right now is his age. Simply put, he is not as fast or as powerful as he once was.

Jessie Vargas presents a legit challenge for Pacquiao. Is he Terence Crawford? No, but he is a top-level welterweight who will have a significant height/reach/age/weight advantage on fight night. If Pacquiao fights like he did against Bradley earlier this year, he should get a tight decision win. Movement and foot speed will be Pacquiao’s best friends against Vargas. The gameplan for Vargas will be to maintain his composure and legs for 12 rounds and look for that big, fight-changing shot.

Pacquiao vs. Vargas – Prediction

I predict a unanimous decision victory for Manny Pacquiao. If we look back to Manny’s fights against much bigger opponents (Chris Algieri, Brandon Rios, and Antonio Margarito are recent examples), it is Pacquiao’s lateral movement, speed, and angles that cause huge problems for bigger, slower opponents. Vargas is definitely faster than all three of those examples, and I still think he has a chance, but if I had to make one prediction it is a decision for Pac-Man.

I believe Vargas will get frustrated and get a bit wild in the later rounds; if he is not careful he could certainly be knocked out. Pacquiao has more power than both Ali and Bradley, and his footwork creates awkward angles that lead to sharp, solid shots to the chin. However, if Pacquiao is not careful, he is still vulnerable to getting hit with a shot like he took against Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 (we’ve all seen it). Vargas is more than capable of landing one of those punches.

Pacquiao vs. Vargas – Undercard

The Pacquiao-Vargas pay-per-view undercard will include:

  • Oscar Valdez vs. Hiroshige Osawa (12 rounds, for Valdez’s WBO featherweight title)
  • Nonito Donaire vs. Jessie Magdaleno (12 rounds, for Donaire’s WBO junior featherweight title)
  • Zou Shiming vs. Prasitsak Papoem (12 rounds, for vacant WBO flyweight title)

The fight before Pacquiao-Vargas should be an exciting one. Oscar Valdez is a young knockout artist who recently won the WBO featherweight title in July; he will be facing Hiroshige Osawa, who has knocked out his last eight opponents. Nonito Donaire is always an entertaining fighter, and Zou Shiming, who trains under Freddie Roach, is a 2-time Olympic gold medalist looking to win his first world title in the pros.

Do you agree with my prediction? Probably not, so feel free to comment below!

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