As is absolutely no surprise, Manny Pacquiao is not retired. Fresh off his opening moves as a senator in the Philippines, his next fight is now set and confirmed. Pacquiao returns to the ring on November 5th, as he takes on once-beaten Jessie Vargas.
Vargas, of course, lost a decision to Timothy Bradley for that sole defeat. He gave Bradley a scare late in that bout, but Bradley had roundly taken care of business prior to a precarious final few minutes.
Of course, we know that Pacquiao has the clear upper hand against Bradley. Styles make fights, so it’s not as easy as saying Pacquiao should then easily trump Vargas, however, if Pacquiao has anything moderately near approaching his best, he won’t have a problem against his opponent.
He’s not in there soft against a no-hoper, but nevertheless, it’s not exactly a scintillating or thrilling affair. Pacquiao vs. Vargas will technically for a WBO strap in the division, as Vargas managed to pick up that vacant title against Sadam Ali.
We have long been projecting that Top Rank would eventually send Pacquiao off into the sunset with a fight against Terence Crawford. A win for Pacquiao offers him an exponential boost heading into retirement, whereas the more likely win from Crawford helps to build up their young star.
So, here, Top Rank either expects Vargas to pull it off, or thinks that a strong Pacquiao showing against him helps to lead to that eventual Pacquiao vs. Crawford fight. Because believe us, if Top Rank has anything to say about it, that’s going to happen. It’s simply too juicy and all-internal for them to pass up.
Stay tuned for more updates on Pacquiao’s next fight and any news of announcement press conferences and all the rest.