Pacquiao vs Vargas: Will PacMan hater and possible future opponent call the fight?
This past weekend, former two division world champion and Showtime Sports color commentator Paulie Malignaggi was at the Ford Amphitheater in Coney Island, New York, to check out fast rising Welterweight Errol Spence Jr. in action against former WBA title challenger Leonard Bundu, in an IBF 147 pound title eliminator bout.
After seeing the Dallas, Texas based superstar earn his future title opportunity by way of brutal knock-out, Paulie was enthused to share his thoughts on another upcoming Welterweight championship fight, featuring one of his "favorite" fighters in boxing. When asked about how critical fight fans have been, concerning Manny Pacquiao's decision to face current WBO Welterweight champion Jessie Vargas on November 5, "The Magic Man" was surprisingly positive about the very unpopular match-up.
"Jessie's earned it," Paulie Malignaggi insisted to FightHype.com. "People underestimate Jessie Vargas. Whether you like somebody or not, you still have to give him his shot if he's earned it. Regardless of what the result is, Vargas deserves a big fight like this."
When asked why he felt the critics were so hard on Manny for granting this opportunity to a hungry young champion like Vargas, Paulie shared his candid thoughts on the always critical and often unreasonable fans of boxing.
"Boxing fanatics are very fickle and very unforgiving. At the end of the day, I think Jessie only has like one loss. And that was to Tim Bradley. You've got to give him the opportunity to extend his career to another level...he's earned it."
Last week, Pacquiao's longtime promoter Bob Arum announced that HBO would not be distributing the November 5 match-up on HBO PPV. Malignaggi seemed genuinely shocked to hear the news.
"I just heard about that...that's wild," Paulie stated to ESNews. "I don't know where that fight ends up. I haven't heard anything about Pacquiao/Vargas landing on Showtime. I don't know what they're going to do about that."
Because Paulie hasn't always had nice things to say about the eight division world champion, directly implying the idea that Pacquiao was guilty of taking PEDS to enhance previous performances, the veteran fighter was asked if he would be willing to step down from the commentator's booth if Showtime decided to distribute "Pacquiao vs. Vargas", and if Top Rank executives made the special request to remove him from the "Showtime Championship Boxing" panel at ringside...due to a "conflict of interests".
Paulie said that wouldn't be happening...even if Manny himself made the request.
"Nobody can give me the boot from Showtime. I could show up to work naked if I wanted to and they wouldn't give me the boot at Showtime. Those are my people."
Without HBO publicizing "Pacquiao vs Vargas" on their platform, it will be interesting to see whether or not an alternative network will choose to work with Top Rank, Inc. and Manny Pacquiao for the November 5 endeavor. Stephen Espinoza stated in a recent interview that he would indeed consider it.
Who knows? Maybe Paulie will get the opportunity to call one of Pacman's final professional fights.
We will find out on September 8th, as Top Rank, Inc. and Manny Pacquiao make their official announcement at a venue to be determined in Los Angeles, CA.
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