Feature | May 05 2017

EXCLUSIVE What it’s like to fight Manny Pacquiao

Jessie Vargas tells John Dennen about facing Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao
WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas (L) of Las Vegas gets hit with a punch from Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines during their title fight at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas  |  Action Images

AT the end of last year, Jessie Vargas lost his WBO welterweight title to Manny Pacquiao. Vargas describes what it’s like taking on the Filipino legend over 12 rounds.

“He was fast but we expected that. I’d say his footwork is what’s mostly unique about him. I went down with a flash knockdown in the second round,” Vargas said. “It was a strange moment because I was coming in, I saw his intent to throw a shot and I stepped out before even landing my shot, as I was throwing I backed out of a shot. I took a step back and as I was taking a step back, I got caught with a straight left to the chin. It was his speed and me being off balance both at the same time. If you look at the replay you’d be able to notice that.

“It was a great experience, I learned a lot from it. Not only that but we gave the fans a great performance. The fans really enjoyed our fight and that means a lot to us as professional athletes and entertainers and I’m looking forward to the next one. I became a better fighter from that fight and now I’m looking forward to the future.”