Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao will come out from a short retirement to fight American Jessie Vargas, Saturday night, 5th Nov. at the Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) announced retirement after his victory over Timothy Bradley Jr. in 9th April to focus his bid for a Philippine senatorial seat, which he successfully won in May elections.
The fighting senator confirmed on 9th Aug. that he will come out of retirement and fight Vargas for the WBO world welterweight title.
“Yes, the fight is on. I have agreed to a Nov. 5 fight with reigning WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas,” Pacquiao said in an interview with ESPN.com.
Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) won his last fight against top young welterweight Sadam Ali in 5th Mar. via knockout in the 9th round, but lost to Bradley, prior to the Ali fight, in a controversial 12-round decision.
The referee mistakenly held Vargas to stop throwing punches to a wobbling Bradley thinking the 12th round was over. Bradley regained footing and able to finished the fight and won by decision.
The Las Vegas based Vargas, 27, was the clear underdog against the much experience former congressman whose 10 years senior, but Vargas is confident he can do it.
“A lot of you guys do wish me luck, but in the back of your mind you’re thinking: ‘I don’t think he can do it.’ But I’m here to tell you I can,” said Vargas quoted by the telegraph.co.uk.
Pacquiao stands at 5’ 5.5” while Vargas stands 4.5 inches taller at 5’10”. Vargas has a significant height advantage against the former 8-division champion. He also enjoys a 4-inch reach advantage measure from armpit to the fist.
In the undercard, Filipino American Nonito Donaire Jr. faces Jessie Magdaleno for the WBO super bantamweight title.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas is available live on HBO via pay-per-view.