In his return bout from retirement, Manny Pacquiao proved that he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level with his unanimous decision win against Jessie Vargas.
In his first bout after announcing his retirement last year, Manny Pacquiao showed the world that he still can put on a beating. The PacMan convincingly took the WBO welterweight title from Jessie Vargas via unanimous decision (114-113, 118-109, 118-109). The champion could do nothing to stop the Filipino boxing icon who completely dominated the bout after a slow start.
— Complex (@ComplexMag) November 6, 2016
Vargas starts strong
Showing signs of ring rust, Manny Pacquiao started the first round tentatively. Vargas took advantage of this and managed to get the upper hand in the round. He was able to outbox Pacquiao who fell behind in the unofficial scorecards 10-8. Unfortunately for Vargas, things started to go downhill after the round ended.
The PacMan scores a knockdown
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) November 6, 2016
After feeling out Vargas in the first round, Pacquiao then went to work starting in the second. The former 8-division world champion connected on a left to Vargas’ face that sent him to the canvas. Though he was able to recover from the knockdown, the reigning champion was visibly shaken. On the other hand, Pacquiao tried to swoop in for the kill after sensing blood in the water. His headhunting efforts were in vain though as Vargas eventually settled in. As a matter of fact, he was even able to regain control of the fight just a little during the succeeding round.
While Jessie Vargas is a polished boxer, it was evident that he was nowhere near Pacquiao’s level during the fight. From the sixth round onwards, it looked as if he was already gassed. A lot of that had to with just how unrelenting Manny Pacquiao was. Even at age 37, the PacMan still had great hand speed and agility. Though he was younger by more than a decade, it was Vargas who was having a hard time keeping up with Pacquiao.
Help us out, 4th judge.
Who won Round 8? #PacVargas
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) November 6, 2016
In addition to looking gassed, Vargas also grew more sloppy as the fight progressed. Yes, he was still able to tag Manny Pacquiao with his right but he couldn’t manage to follow up with a combination. On the other hand, Manny had little trouble getting to the champ. His short right to counter Vargas’ left jab hit the mark regularly. This also gave him the chance to get into rhythm for combinations and allowed him to pile up on the points.
Still no knock-out
Despite his masterful domination of Jessie Vargas, Manny Pacquiao still ended the bout without a knockout. This makes it the 12th consecutive match that greatest knockout artist of his generation hasn’t won/gotten a knockout. While that shouldn’t really be a concern for his legacy, it can be an issue when it comes to setting up future fights. The public wants to see knockouts and Pacquiao not delivering on that front might result in him not getting the best fights.
COME ON, MAY (OR MAY NOT) WEATHER, HAVE THE GUTS TO FIGHT PACQUIAO NOW.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) November 6, 2016
There’s no doubt that Manny is still a great fighter. In fact, I’d say he’s still better (pound-for-pound) than a lot of the top fighters in the welterweight division. Right now though, his fights just don’t look that interesting. Going into a fight against fighters like Vargas, you already know that he’s going to volume punch his way to a victory. Yes, it’s still a marvel to see his footwork. What made us fans of the PacMan though has always been his knockout power. Without his knockouts, his fights just aren’t as exciting anymore?
What do you think about Manny Pacquiao winning against Jessie Vargas? Was the fight exciting for you? Do you think Manny still has enough in the tank for another knockout victory? Or should he finally retire for good since he doesn’t have anything to prove anymore?