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List of Articles by Eddie Alinea


 

PACQUIAO PUTS REPUTATION ON THE LINE AGAINST VARGAS

By Eddie Alinea
PhilBoxing.com
06 Nov 2016



LAS VEGAS, NV. – Manny Pacquiao put his reputation on the line and Jessie Vargas his belt as they meet head-on for the World Boxing Organization world welterweight championship on Saturday at the Thomas and Mack Center inside the University of Nevada campus in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The soon-to-be 38 year-old Filipino boxing legend, the only man in boxing history to be crowned champion in eight weight divisions, is seeking his first stoppage victory in nine years and is an overwhelming choice to succeed by a 7-1 count as of this writing.

Vargas, an American of Mexican descent, whose handler wants him called simply as “champion” and not by any other title, for his part, is on a quest for respect and recognition his camp claimed has long been denied him.

And it looks like Vargas, 10 years Pacquiao’s junior, will have to wait for a much longer time after Saturday’s encounter, odds makers predicted, Pacquiao will emerge a three-time 147-pound titlist, if the cart form holds true.

Vargas, at least five inches taller than Pacquiao at five foot 10 inches, will climb the ring heavier at 146.5 pounds to the Filipino icon’s 144.8 pounds in the official weigh-in held Friday at the Encore Theater inside the Wynn Resort Hotel.

The Pambansang Kamao brings with him 21 years, 66 fights in a professional career that is highlighted by 58 wins, 38 of them by knockouts, six losses and two draws, a big 39-match difference to Vargas’ 27-1 slate, with 10 stoppages.

The more than three-month build up program that had the four-division lineal titlist logged 90 rounds of sparring, more than 200 rounds with the mitts and 3,000 miles of roadwork, according to chief trainer Freddie Roach, did well to his pupil of 15 years, re-acquiring the power of his punches and quickness reminiscent of the finest years of his career from 2008 to 2009, years, the Hall of Fame trainer recalled, when the former Sarangani congressman now senator had every fighter that crossed his path like the legendary Oscar deLa Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, at the palm of his hands.

Those years, incidentally, were Pacman knocked out, one after another, David Diaz, in the 9th round for he World Boxing Council lightweight plum, Hatton in the 2nd round for the International Boxing Federation/RING junior welterweight diadem, and Cotto in the 12th for the WBO welterweight crown.
Cotto was the last of the 38 fighters that Pacquiao forced to quit.

The father of five with wife, former Sarangani Gov. Jinkee, actually won the first of his eight-division title conquest at the expense of Thai Chathai Sasakul whom he dethroned as WBC flyweight king via an 8th round stoppage on December 14, 1998.
From there, the native of Kibawe, Bukidnon went on to win, too, the IBF super bantamweight title via a 6th round TKO of Lehlo Ledwaba on June 23, 2001, the RING Magazine featherweight on November 15, 2003, TKO in 11th of Marco Antonio Barrera.
Pacquiao lost the WBO 147 crown to Timothy Bradley on a questionable split decision on June 9,2012 following successful defenses against Joshua Clottey and Juan Manuel Marquez. He retook it from Bradley in the second of their trilogy, but yielded it again to Floyd Mayweaher Jr, in the richest ever match-up last year that broke the records in both PPV and gate earnings.

Add the super-welterweight title he took over Antonio Margarito, also in 2009 completes Pacquiao's journey from flyweight to the 154-pound division.

A win over Vargas Saturday makes the Filipino sensation a three-time welterweight king and the first senator to ever win a boxing championship.


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