Now that he has reclaimed the WBO welterweight crown, senator and boxing champ Manny Pacquiao wil be hurrying back to the Philippines to resume his legislative duties.
Pacquiao merely took advantage of the senate’s 16-day break so he could fly to Las Vegas and go toe-to-toe against Vargas.
The senate sessions resume on November 17.
The Filipino superstar thanked his supporters for letting him fight despite his legislative duties.
“Maraming salamat po sa buong sambayanang Pilipino,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN’s Dyan Castillejo after the fight. “Babalik kaagad ako diyan dahil may trabaho. Salamat sa tiwala at suporta.”
(I thank the Filipino people. I’ll return soon because I have work to do. Again many thanks for your trust and support.)
Pacquiao dominated the taller and younger Jessie Vargas in 12 rounds by using his superior speed and impeccable timing at a packed Thomas & Mack Center.
He tried to end a knockout drought that dated all the way back to 2009 but had to settle for flooring Vargas once en route to a unanimous verdict.
“I'm always trying to put him down every round but we know Vargas is a very tough boxer,” he said. “’Di natin pwedeng pagkumpyansahan kasi may counter siya eh. Natamaan ako ilang beses ng kanan pero hindi ako nagpainda.”
(I was always watching out because he has a counter punch. I was hit several times by his right hand, but I managed to shake them off.)
'Vargas went up vs legend'
Meanwhile, fight analyst Ed Tolentino thought Vargas fought the best fight of his career. Unfortunately, he went up against a legend in Pacquiao.
"Vargas was a constant threat with his overhand right. I thought Manny was able to elude that right hand in most occasion by employing foot speed, great lateral movement, bobbing and weaving, he was stepping back to avoid the right hand of Vargas," said Tolentino.
He added that Pacquiao has also shown that he still packs a mean punch with that knockdown of Vargas in the second round.
"Between the 11th and 12th rounds, I thought Pacquiao was really going for a knockout win as Vargas looked weary and tired in those rounds," said Tolentino.
"Unfortunately the knockout didn't come but just the same it was a dominant performance."
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)