By Julian Fortaleza
Manny Pacquiao returned to the ring against WBO World Champion Jessie Vargas this past Saturday at the Thomas and Mack Center in as Vegas Nevada. The bout was billed as, “The Legend vs. The Champ”, and resulted in a 12 round unanimous decision for the future hall of famer, Manny Pacquiao. Marred by questions concerning his ability to fight while working full time as a Senator, Pacquiao showed that he remains in the upper echelon of the welterweight division. The fight began with both being cautious before Pacquiao was able to counter a Vargas jab with a straight left hand, dropping the young Mexican fighter in the 2nd round. After the knockdown “Pac-man” was able to control the distance and land shots to a Vargas that consistently stepped back while trying to counter. While Pacquiao opened the fight well, Vargas began to work his way back in to the fight in the middle rounds. Vargas, a Las Vegas native, began consistently landing strong straight right hands while Pacquiao opted to counter with right hooks. After the bout Vargas stated that he was, “trying to catch [Pacquiao] coming in”. As the fight progressed rounds 8 to 12 became more and more of an exhibition of Pacquiao’s speed and timing. As Manny began to pull away, Vargas refused to go down without a fight even landing a strong counter right hand that Pacquiao walked in to, eerily reminiscent of the right that Marquez knocked him out with. By the end of the night Pacquiao showed the boxing world that he was still part of the elite, while Vargas revealed that he can hang with the best on the world stage. After the bout Manny was quoted as saying, “I’m very careful to go inside because I know he will counter me”, revealing how much respect he had for Vargas’ timing and power. When asked who he would want to fight next Pacquiao replied with the usual, “I don’t know whoever the people want me to fight I am not picking an opponent whoever my promoter gives me I will fight. Im going back to senate and the next fight I [will] talk to Bob.