Jessie Vargas said he needed to use his brain as much as his brawn to be able to stay with Manny Pacquiao in their match on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).
"It was a chess match, it really was," Vargas, the deposed world welterweight champion, said during the post-fight press conference.
"I had to stay alive every second of the fight."
Vargas added: "To have Manny Pacquiao think two, three, four times before coming in? He wasn't coming in comfortably. I was trying to catch him every chance that I got, which made it a chess match, made it very interesting, very intriguing. We're both thinking in there, trying to connect with different shots."
While Vargas wasn't overmatched, he couldn't break Pacquiao either.
In the fight's signature moment, Pacquiao landed a flush left to Vargas' face that caused the champion to hit the canvas.
"I got a little overconfident with his speed and he caught me with a good, sharp left hand," Vargas said.
"I expected Manny to be aggressive as he usually is. We were expecting to catch him with that nice right hand. We were looking forward over and over again. We caught it a few times. I feel like I stung him a couple of times, but I mean he's a very experienced fighter. I give him credit. He's a legend."
Vargas, who lost via unanimous decision, accepted the result and, unlike most losing fighters, offered no excuse for his defeat.
"We came up a bit short from the looks of it," he said. "I'm not going to argue with the scorecards. I'm not going to argue with the referee. Here in Las Vegas, I believe we have the best officials.
I do feel it was a good, entertaining fight."
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