Manny Pacquiao vs Jessie Vargas on November 5? Why fans should prepare for showdownWritten by Joseph Herron
It was recently announced by Top Rank CEO Bob Arum that eight division world titlist Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring on November 5th, following a break from his duties as Senator of his native country.
The famed prizefighter is serving his first of a customary six-year term in the Philippines Senate; a seat he won by garnering over 15 million votes earlier this year. While serving his country as a politician, the Pacman will begin his preparation for one of three potential opponents; Terence Crawford, Viktor Postol and Jessie Vargas.
Although Manny's promoter insists there are no leading candidates within the "TR/Pacquiao November Sweepstakes", all considered variables point to a selection of the 27 year old, WBO Welterweight title holder from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Despite having already carried the distinction of Super Lightweight and Welterweight champion many times, the 37 year old ring legend is adamant about competing for a major world title in his return effort. So if he chooses to compete for the WBO/WBC Super Lightweight championships, which will be carried by either Crawford or Postol, Manny would have to commit to making the division restriction of 140 pounds by November 5.
Can the newly appointed Senator make the division limit comfortably and still be strong enough to compete against either Crawford or Postol?
Pacman's promoter expounded on the potential dilemma.
"Can Manny get down to 140 where he's physically strong while he's going to Senate sessions, where he's not doing the same level of training that he ordinarily would if he didn't have these duties," Bob Arum stated to FightHubTV."
Can he realistically get down to 140 and be physically strong enough to fight a guy like Crawford or Postol? Jessie Vargas would be available for him at 147 pounds should he decide that it's too difficult."
While Manny's trainer, Freddie Roach, insists his fighter is indeed a natural Junior Welterweight and can make the division limit with little problem, Pacquiao hasn't fought at 140 pounds since winning the IBO Super Lightweight title by knocking out Ricky Hatton in 2009.
And in the event that Viktor Postol pulls off the upset this Saturday night and defeats Terence Crawford, the current WBC title holder is also trained by Freddie Roach. A bout with the Ukraine native would be a difficult scenario for Manny as well as his Hall of Fame trainer.
Also, according to longtime Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz, "Bud" Crawford wouldn't be the ring legend's first choice. It's the opinion of most boxing experts that TC would prove to be the toughest assignment for the Filipino superstar.
"If we fight again, Crawford is not even a thought and never was," Koncz told fight scribe Michael Woods.
All available signs point to a showdown with Jessie Vargas at 147 pounds.
An official announcement from Top Rank, Inc is expected sometime next week.