Manny Pacquiao is the new WBO Welterweight Champion!

MANILA, Philippines - Compatriot Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire may have fallen and lost his title to Jessie Magdaleno in the co-main event of the Pacquiao vs Vargas fight dubbed as “Resurgence,” the fighting senator of the Philippines gave his everything to cheer the Filipinos up as he dismantled and took the WBO Welterweight title from Jessie Vargas on November 6, 2016 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

Manny Pacquiao is all smiles after winning the WBO Welterweight title
Photo Credit: Manny Pacquiao is all smiles after winning the WBO Welterweight title. Photo Credit: Top Rank
Manny Pacquiao entered and climbed up the ring as the underdog of the fight. Pacquiao momentarily retired from boxing after his trilogy bout with Timothy Bradley last April in preparation for the senatorial elections where he also won. He unretired and decided to face a younger, taller and more hungry fighter to claim what is rightfully his.

Legendary ring announcer Michael Buffer pumped-up the arena with his famous “Let’s get ready to rumble” boxing tag line that hinted the start of the epic slugfest.

Chants of “Manny-Manny” echoed in the entire Thomas and Mack Center as the protagonists sized-up each other.

Pacquiao began to throw jabs and short hooks that connected to Vargas’ body. Vargas on the other hand missed some overhand rights. Not too much of highlights from the first round.

Due to height discrepancy, Pacquiao targeted Vargas’ midsection instead of the head. Speed and power however, really favored him as he floored Vargas with a left straight in the 25th second of the 2nd round. Jessie Vargas got obviously hurt but survived the round.

Vargas pretended not to be hurt as he entered the 3rd but Pacquiao once again hit him with a short left that made his feet wobbly. Manny Pacquiao carried on with the momentum and continued to attack Vargas.

To keep Manny Pacquiao from surging, Jessie Vargas used his left jabs. But Pacquiao still connected. Vargas hit Pacquiao with a right straight and probably his best and clearest shot since round one. Jessie Vargas took the 4th with his right hands on Pacquiao.

Pacquiao hit Vargas with a left straight and the latter had no other choice but to clinch to prevent another knockdown. Vargas’ over rights were somehow being effective counter weapon against Pacquiao’s left straights.

Midway of the fight, Pacquiao seemed to slow down while Vargas continued to throw jabs to close any open opportunities for Manny. Less than a minute remaining, Pacquiao started to engage and gave Vargas some hard lefts.

Pacquiao’s right jabs and hooks became his bread and butter in the 7th round. Vargas on the other hand, switched his tactics to body blows and as per instructed by his Coach Dewey Cooper.

Not winning by knockout at least for this decade, Manny Pacquiao knew that the only way for him to win fights is to score and to throw volumes of punches. So in round 8, he unleashed flurry of short punches that hit Vargas. In a close exchange of fists, both boxers clashed their heads that opened up Vargas’ right eyebrow. Despite of the unintended headbutt, Manny still scored some clear shots and won the round.

Both fighters promised the fans a very good fight so they were true to their words and traded barrages of punches onto each other. Pacquiao although a lefty, hit Vargas with solid rights.

Trailing Pacquiao in the scorecard, Vargas attacked him right after the opening bell of the 10th. Manny Pacquiao did the same thing. Vargas taunted Pacquiao to bring it on and give his best shots. With that said, Pacman hit him with an over right that rocked Jessie Vargas. After 10 full rounds, Jessie Vargas’ right eye started to swell due to Manny Pacquiao’s lefts.

Although older by 10 years, Pacquiao seemed tireless compared to the younger Vargas. From the very first round, Manny was energized and relentless. Jessie Vargas looked so gassed out in the penultimate round and missed most of his punches. In contrast, Pacquiao still pushed hard. In the dying seconds of the 11th, Pacquiao caught Vargas with a right hook and went down. But Referee Kenny Bayless ruled it as a slip.

Come 12th round, Jessie Vargas knew that he needed nothing but a miracle to retain his title. But again, Pacquiao’s blinding speed closed any doors for him to score a knockout. Literally, Vargas’ punches didn’t reach Pacquiao in the last round due to exhaustion. And his right eye, it completely shut. With 10 seconds remaining in the last round, Pacquiao hit Vargas once again but was declared another slip by Kenny Bayless.

At the end of the bout, Manny Pacquiao won via unanimous decision (114-113, 118-109, 118-109) and once again a World Champion.

Manny Pacquiao made a history in becoming the first active senator in the world who won a title.

--Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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