Jessie Vargas remains determined to one day fight Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao again, even though he knows he will have to face Timothy Bradley first in order to do it.
Bradley controversially defeated Vargas in June 2015 via unanimous decision. Bradley had been in control of the bout for most of the way, but got floored by a huge shot from Vargas late in the 12th round. The referee mistakenly stopped the fight with still 10 seconds left, and Bradley went on to take the win.
Vargas rebounded from that loss by beating Sadam Ali to take the WBO welterweight belt, only to lose it to Pacquiao in November 2016. However, the 27-year-old Vargas remained driven to secure a rematch against Bradley.
"Hopefully, we can make it happen," Vargas said in an interview with Boxing Scene of a rematch against Bradley.
"I know once I beat him, I can go back and prove that I learned from my experience, and jump back into a rematch with Pacquiao and beat him," he added.
Pacquiao had little trouble with Vargas in the bout, even knocking down the younger fighter in the second round. The loss dropped Vargas' record to 27-2, and he has not returned to the ring since.
Bradley similarly has not fought again since losing to Pacquiao in April 2016.
Pacquiao, for his part, saw two potential fights fall apart in the past month. He thumbed down a proposed April bout against Australia's Jeff Horn, only for his preferred fight against Amir Khan to also blow up in smoke.
It remains to be seen when Pacquiao will return to the ring.
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