By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao has begun training for his fight against unbeaten Jessie Vargas at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on November 5.
In a conversation with BoxingScene.com/The Standard after his Mahindra PBA team emerged victorious over Blackwater Elite with Pacquiao burying a three-point shot and having the crowd roar every time he touched the ball, Pacquiao explained his decision to return to the ring, pointing out that he continues to play basketball because its his passion and it’s the same thing with boxing.
Pacquiao said he will pick up the tempo of his training for the Vargas fight in a few weeks even as he insisted Vargas is no pushover and that he won’t take the WBO welterweight champion whose only loss was to Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley who Vargas claims was saved from being knocked out in the final round when referee Pat Russell ended the bout ten seconds early, when he mistook the ten-second warning for the bell to end the title fight.
Boxing Scene quoted Vargas who said “More than anything I would say I am happy because this fight came at the perfect time and the perfect moment. A moment where I have a great team behind me where they are bringing out the best in Jessie Vargas and you still haven't see the best that I have to offer but you will see it on November 5th. That is for sure without a doubt," said Vargas who believes his best is yet to come.
"Mark my words, November 5th will be even better than the win over Sadam Ali. Just watch!"
Vargas scored a 9th round TKO over Ali last March.
Boxing Scene said “another key factor in Vargas' favor is his experience against southpaws. In 2014 Vargas fought three times - all against lefties - and he feels that his experience against Khabib Allakhverdiev, Anton Novikov and Antonio DeMarco (all three were unanimous decision victories for Vargas) will prove to be invaluable. “
He said "Definitely it has helped me a lot and not only that but we have several times prepared for it. We have long term sparring partners that will help me prepare for but definitely those experiences will help me prepare for it."