By Edward Chaykovsky
Eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38KOs) openly admits that he wants to avenge his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. (49-0, 26KOs).
After six years of hype, they finally collided last May with Mayweather winning a twelve round unanimous decision at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The fight was a financial goldmine with a record shattering 4.6 million pay-per-view buys and over $600 million in revenue.
Mayweather retired from boxing last September and it's not clear if he'll return for a 50th fight. If he does, a second fight with Pacquiao would be the biggest financial opportunity he could secure.
Pacquiao blames his right shoulder for his lackluster performance against Mayweather. He injured the shoulder in training camp and claims it was further damaged in the fourth round. He had surgery a few days after the fight and didn't return to the ring until this past April, when he dominated Timothy Bradley in their trilogy fight.
The Filipino star returns to the ring on Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center, when he challenges WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas. He wants a very impressive performance to stay in the hunt for Mayweather in 2017.
“I would love to avenge the loss to Floyd Mayweather, especially now that my shoulder is fixed. I’m using the right hand a lot now and feel in great shape. This fight against Jessie Vargas I consider the most important of my career because it will determine the direction my future takes," Pacquiao said.
“Before I fought in America, from every fight half of my earnings would go to the people and that’s still the case. I’m 38 next month, but I don’t feel old. My time management and discipline is how I stay strong. I told Freddie Roach (his trainer) ‘Tell me promptly if I’m slowing. I’ll think about it and then hang up the gloves. Jessie Vargas is the champion. He’s a lot taller than me and that’s an advantage, but it’s not the first time I’ve fought a taller guy.”