Las Vegas - Manny Pacquiao is regarded as one of the
greatest boxers ever but says he will not be taking his opponent lightly when
he faces World Boxing Organisation welterweight champion Jessie Vargas next
Seven months after defeating Timothy Bradley in his much
trumpeted farewell to the sport, the Filipino southpaw will return to the ring
on November 5 when he faces American Vargas at the Thomas & Mack Centre in
"I do not underestimate Jessie Vargas," Pacquiao,
37, told reporters after beginning his training camp in Los Angeles this week
under the watchful eye of his Hall of Famer trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild
Card Boxing Club.
"He is a good strong champion. Every opponent gets my
full attention and respect. I respect Jessie and that is why I trained hard.
This is the most important fight because it will determine the direction of my
The 27-year-old Vargas (27-1) beat fellow American Sadam Ali
in March to claim the WBO welterweight crown and has won 10 of his bouts via a
knockout or stoppage, with his only defeat coming via a points loss to Bradley
in June 2015.
"I need to win convincingly," said Pacquiao.
"We have three different plans for Jessie Vargas, but my first concern is
for the fans; that the people who are going to watch the fight will be happy
Pacquiao, an eight-division world champion, is excited by
the prospect of adding another title to his bulging career resume, and his
first since he was elected to the Philippines' senate in May.
"I am fighting for history," said the Filipino,
who is renowned for his lightning hand and foot speed and has compiled a 58-6-2
career record in the ring. "I was the first sitting congressman to win a
"For this one, it is not enough to be the first sitting
senator to fight for a world title. I want to be the first senator to become
world champion. For me, that would be quite an accomplishment.
"I want to prove that I am still one of the best
pound-for-pound fighters. I am not done with boxing. I will continue to keep
fighting as long as I love boxing and boxing still loves me. I do not feel old.
I feel like I am still 27."