Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 knockouts) and Vargas (27-1-0, 10 knockouts) will face off at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States. The bout will be Pacquiao’s comeback fight after announcing his retirement in April this year.
Pacquiao’s return has been criticized in the sports world because he lied about retiring from the sport and is also an elected government official in the Philippines. Pacquiao is not as popular as before both in his home country and internationally and is seen as a boxer who is already past his prime.
Sam Cooper of Boxing Tribune News stated, “If we’re being honest about Manny Pacquiao’s November 5 bout against Jessie Vargas, we’d have to admit that the Filipino icon is in a lose-lose situation.”
The writer explained, “if Manny wins, he’ll only be doing what’s expected of him since he’s such an overwhelming favorite coming into the contest. If he loses, though, the game is over and permanent retirement is the only option for an embarrassed ex-icon.”
Cooper also added that for Vargas, “whatever happens this fall, he’ll come out as a winner. Even if he gets beaten up and dominated by Pacquiao—as most expect—he’ll walk away with a career high payday and a significant boost in publicity for his future boxing endeavors.”
Pacquiao won his last fight against Timothy Bradley Jr. via unanimous decision for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) international welterweight title. However, he also lost the previous fight before that against rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May 2015.
Pacquiao’s loss to Mayweather was a disappointing one as he fought with a shoulder injury during the fight and was criticized by the fans. The Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight drew great numbers financially for both but Pacquiao did not earn big numbers for the Bradley fight.
Meanwhile, Vargas won his last fight against Sadam Ali via technical knockout last March. Vargas lost in his previous fight, in June 2016, against Pacquiao’s rival, Bradley. This was Vargas’ first loss in his boxing career.
There are boxing rumors and speculations that HBO won’t be airing the Pacquiao vs. Vargas fight and it looks like the fans will again snub Pacquiao’s fight this year.
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