Manny Pacquiao will respect me, he's just another fighter insists VargasWritten by Joseph Herron
When participating in the most demanding sport on the planet, most great fighters and trainers will insist that mental preparation is just as important as, if not more crucial than the physical development and planning throughout the weeks leading into a big-time event.
A necessary part of competing on the biggest stages of boxing is the media and fan scrutiny, which always seem to accompany rising stature within the industry. Seemingly justified, as well as often unwarranted criticism from the fans and the boxing press can often test the toughest of athletes before a major prizefight.
Although current WBO Welterweight champion Jessie Vargas has already experienced his share of brutal inspection from an unlikely source, Max Kellerman of HBO Sports and ESPN, during the weeks leading into his November 5th bout opposite ring legend Manny Pacquiao, the mature 27 year old fighter insists that the negative feedback isn't anything he can't handle.
"To be honest, the media isn't really hard to deal with," Jessie Vargas told War a Week Radio last week. "It's much easier than being in the ring and seeing punches flying your way. You answer questions and you take pictures...there's really nothing difficult about that, you know?"
The emotionally strong title holder refuses to let anyone ruin his "moment under the sun", or the bright lights of the Vegas strip. Vargas claims to have prepared for this moment for many, many years.
"Manny Pacquiao is a fighter who's revered by everyone, including his peers. But to me, he's just another fighter that I have to defeat."
"He has a big name, and he's done a lot for the sport which I respect, but he hasn't faced me. I understand the magnitude of this event...it's huge. But it's nothing that I haven't foreseen. I've visualized all of this."
"I saw all of this when I was coming up, fighting on the under cards of big-time events like this. I knew I was going to get my opportunity eventually, so I've been preparing myself for this moment mentally for years."
"So being there on November 5th will be just another night."
Because Senator Pacquiao will be in the Philippines fulfilling his political duties during the months leading up to the big event, the success of the promotion in the United States will rest solely on the shoulders of the confident, young world champion.
Vargas insists that he wouldn't have it any other way. He fully embraces the role of ambassador and spokesperson. The Las Vegas based fighter professes that he will indeed be prepared come November 5th.
"I'm living a dream, and I'm making sure that I continue to fulfill my dreams and goals that I set when I was just eight years old," claims Jessie Vargas.
"I will accomplish what I originally set out to do on November 5th. I'll make sure of it. I'm working hard and I have about ten weeks to prepare properly. Mentally I'm focused and I'm very strong...nothing is going to break me. I have a great team with me, and they're going to help me get to the next level."
Despite feeling great about his condition mentally, the fight game is still a brutal, physical sport inside of the ring. Does Jessie Vargas have the physical tools to beat the Pacman at this stage of both fighters' respective careers?
"Without a doubt. The first time I touch him, he's [Manny Pacquiao} going to respect me. I have no doubt that my power will hold him off and make him think twice about merely coming in and imposing his will."
"But I don't just have power...I have speed, I have ring intelligence, I can be the ring general with my footwork and my jab. I have the experience to know when to use each of my tools in the ring. I know what I'm doing in there."
Tickets for Pacquiao vs Vargas will go on sale Thursday, September 8th, when the fight is officially announced by Top Rank, Inc.
Pacquiao vs Vargas | News