Last week Top Rank Promotions held their opening press conference for Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao’s return to the ring against young WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas. Located at the Beverly Hills Hotel, the press conference was opened by Top Rank CEO, Bob Arum, who clarified that Top Rank will be distributing the fight on pay per view instead of HBO. Of Pacquiao’s last 10 fights, there was only one that was not distributed, or co-distributed, by HBO. This bout was Pacquiao’s 2011 clash with Shane Mosley, which aired on Showtime.
Pacquiao discussed his return stating, “I feel lonely because when you are thinking that the sport you love, you’re no longer active, I felt lonely and thinking about it over and over that boxing still likes me. Boxing loves me and I love boxing… So why should I stop my boxing career? That’s why I changed my mind. So I decided to continue my journey as a boxer”. Pacquiao also discussed talking retirement after his third fight with Timothy Bradley, telling the multiple time trainer of the year, “Freddie, my family wants me to quit but I can still do this”. Roach has stated in the past that he would be the first to tell his pupil when he should hang up the gloves, and he referenced this at the press conference as well.
Jessie Vargas is an incredibly tough young fighter, who has been in the ring with the likes of Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley and Antonio DeMarco. His most recent fight was a huge KO victory over Saddam “World Kid” Ali, which was his first knockout win in 11 fights. What Vargas lacks in power he makes up for with good technique and an itch for drama, which he displayed by almost knocking out Tim Bradley with less than 10 seconds remaining in their bout. Bradley escaped with the decision but Vargas showed that he possessed world-class heart in the ring and is a worthy opponent for Pacquiao.