Pacquiao to fight Vargas in November

Manny Pacquaio facing off against Timothy Bradley Jr. on April 9. He is due to fight American Jessie Vargas on Nov 5.
Manny Pacquaio facing off against Timothy Bradley Jr. on April 9. He is due to fight American Jessie Vargas on Nov 5. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES • Manny Pacquiao will take on World Boxing Organisation welterweight champion Jessie Vargas of the United States when he returns to the ring on Nov 5, according to the Filipino boxer's manager, Michael Koncz.

"Retirement doesn't suit Manny right now," Koncz told the Los Angeles Times of the former eight-division world champion.

"Boxing is in his blood. When he trains, it's like a pressure-release valve.

"You can see a dramatic difference in his mood... he's happy. It's amazing what training and fighting (do) for him."

Pacquiao (58 wins, six losses, two draws) had announced his retirement after defeating Timothy Bradley in April and was elected to the Philippines' Senate in May.

His promoter Bob Arum announced last month that he would fight again in November.

Senate president Franklin Drilon has also said that Pacquiao can go back to the boxing ring as long as he performs his duties as a legislator.

Arum tweeted earlier this week that he would travel to the Philippines for a meeting on Aug 10 to discuss the 37-year-old southpaw's return to the sport.

Koncz, who will also attend the meeting, said the trio were not discussing a potential opponent, but whether to stage the bout in Los Angeles or Dubai.

"That's the essence of the meeting," he said. "Not choosing the opponent. That's already been done."

Pacquiao's unanimous decision in his win against Bradley was his first fight in nearly a year after his tame loss to Floyd Mayweather.

He had said he was bringing the curtain down on his career to concentrate on politics and his family.

The 27-year-old Vargas (27-1) beat fellow American Sadam Ali in March to claim the WBO welterweight crown and has won 10 of his bouts via a knockout or stoppage, with his only defeat coming via a points loss to Bradley in June 2015.

On Sunday, Vargas claimed that he was looking forward to fighting Pacquiao.

"I am the WBO welterweight champion and he wants to return to fight for this belt. So I am happy to give him a title shot," he said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2016, with the headline 'Pacquiao to fight Vargas in November'. Print Edition | Subscribe