My take on Pacquiao-Vargas

Conrad M. Cariño

Conrad M. Cariño

With a record of 27-1 with 10 knockouts, Jessie Vargas obviously does not have respectable knockout power to bother Manny Pacquiao when they square off on November 5 in Las Vegas.

And even if he is listed at 5’11” Vargas won’t present much problems for Pacquiao who has faced lanky or bigger opponents at the championship level. Just look at how Pacquiao disposed taller fighters Eric Morales, Antonio Margarito and Chris Algieri. Although Margarito did hurt Pacquiao at one point of their fight in November 2010, the Filipino was able to nullify his opponent’s reach advantage with his speed. Although we could write off Margarito as a shot fighter who did not have speed when he faced Pacquiao, the Filipino proved he does not struggle against taller or lanky fighters.

Pacquiao still has speed in his hands and his footwork, while no longer the same as it was years ago, can befuddle lesser opponents.

So will Pacquiao stop or knock out Vargas? I wish so………

The common opponent of Pacquiao and Vargas was Timothy Bradley, who defeated the Mexican via split decision in June 2015. In their fight, Bradley displayed more composure and landed cleaner punches. But then, Bradley had a rather good showing against Vargas because Bradley could afford to take Vargas’ best punches. If Vargas’ punches bothered Bradley, then Bradley would not have won the fight.

And given that Bradley’s third fight against Pacquiao saw him hit the deck two times, it is obvious Vargas will in for a really difficult fight against the Filipino.

Yet there are several factors going up against Pacquiao entering the fight; he is now a Senator and his attendance is much better than the one he had when he was a member of the Lower House. He even figured in a debate over the reimposition of the death penalty with of all the people, Senator Leila De Lima. So let’s hope Pacquiao was able to concentrate during the early part of his training in Manila against Vargas.

Another factor going up against Pacquiao is his age, and that could come into play against a younger opponent over 12 rounds. Let’s face it—we should never expect Pacquiao to be 70 to 80 percent at the latter part of a fight (particularly the ninth to 12th rounds) of what he was in the first three rounds.

As the taller opponent, Vargas can stick and jab and make Pacquiao chase him all night until the Filipino loses some gas in the latter rounds. This could be possible.

But look at how Vargas fought Bradley; he elected to face Bradley squarely and not stick and run. Vargas also seems to be a bit of a flat-footed fighter and that is a plus factor for Pacquiao.

So expect Pacquiao to win.

Now, the question is what is next for the Filipino? That question sends shivers to my spine.

If Vargas proves to a walkover for Pacquiao, expect the more accomplished fighters in the welterweight ranks to start calling him out. And there are plenty of them with power in their hands: Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Terence Crawford, Shawn Porter and Kell Brook.

And I would like to state again my concern for Pacquiao at this stage of his career; avoid being a stepping stone for the new crop of future superstars in the welterweight division.

I mean, Vargas can never be compared to Garcia, Thurman, Crawford, Porter and Brook. Need I say more?


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  1. This is going to be a very exciting fight. Team Pacquiao, together with Manny himself will be in for a surprise because they will find out that Jessie Vargas is a very powerful fighter and quick in his hands and feet. All team Pacquiao including Manny are braggarts. It is so sad that people don’t learn from their past mistakes. Manny should realize in the fight that he needs God to save Him. Only chance he will have to win is when he learns to truly humble down and seek God’s might and power.

  2. My take is that Pacquiao fooled the people when they voted for him and when he said he will retire from boxing once he gets elected as senator. These guy can’t keep his promises, just after 3 months he gets back again on the ring. This fight lacks the excitement and obviously all about the money. #SCRIPTED

  3. Roach underestimates Vargas’ Sadam Ali because he’s not known but his record speaks for itself. Many journeymen has beaten known world champions. And there are many world champions that are manufactured and overhyped. It’s because boxing is a business. And politics, as well.

  4. I predict that your predictions are wrong. My bold prediction: Manny gets knocked out inside the distance. That said, i wish and hope and pray that my prediction is wrong. Everybody keeps underestimating Jessie Vargas’ knock-out power but they never considered that a young, let alone tall, fighter can improve his power, skills, ring intelligence and stamina over the years with the right trainer and training esp.with aided illegal drugs. Vargas’ already benefitted from 6 really good trainers in a span of 10yrs (Roger Mayweather, Robert Garcia, Roy Jones Jr., Erik Morales, to name some of the famous ones). Pacquiao has never hurt Bradley (tho he admitted that Pacquiao punched stronger in their third fight than in their first two fights) the way Jessie Vargas did. Vargas’ demolition of then-undefeated Sadam Ali was a testament to his devastating power. But even with Pacquiao’s revived power, what if he could not hurt Vargas because the latter is on steroids? It’s gonna be a short night for Pacquiao because his chin is already weak and Vargas will not take a back step! Dewey Cooper’s instruction with Vargas is not to beat but destroy Pacquiao at all costs. Pacquiao may need his strongest faith in God to counter Cooper’s black magic spell!