Last night, while Tony Ferguson and Rafael Dos Anjos dazzled mixed martial arts fans with a five-round classic in Mexico City, the boxing world had their eyes glued firmly to the latest effort of aging legend Manny Pacquiao. This bout, which occured inside the Thomas & Mack Center in Nevada, pitted Pacquiao against WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas.
The 27-year-old Vargas, who is a former two-weight world champion, certainly had his moments over the course of this 12 round battle. Ultimately, however, he had little answer for Pacquiao’s blinding speed. The legend was the far faster man in the ring, darting in and out of his foe’s range to light him up with multi-punch combos before slipping out out of danger to avoid his counters. The end result was a sound unanimous decision win for the Filipino legend.
The most dramatic moment of the fight occured in the second frame, when Pacquiao slipped a left hand to land a thudding right hand of his own, sending Vargas careening to the mat in the process. Watch this exciting moment, and several other key segments of the fight, in the clips at the top of this post.
With his Saturday night decision defeat of Vargas in the books, Pacquiao once again becomes the WBO welterweight champion. The legendary boxer held this title previously, but surrendered it to Floyd Mayweather in their infamous 2015 mega fight. Pacquiao’s overall record now sits at 59-6, with 38 knockouts. With this latest win, his focus will now return to his duties as a senator in his home country of The Philippines.
Vargas, meanwhile, loses for just the second time as a pro, having experienced his first hiccup against Timothy Bradley in June of 2015. While he’ll have to return home with a new loss on his record, he received a career-best payday of $2.8 million for the fight. This is bound to make the loss sting a little less.
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