Manny Pacquiao to be upset by Vargas? Is the writing on the wall?Written by Leroy Cleveland
Fight legend, politician, public servant and family man Manny Pacquiao will have his hands full come November.
Not only will he be facing a young, hungry champion in Jessie Vargas, the Filipino senate reconvenes a mere three days later and Senator Pacquiao is expected to be in attendance and ready to work.
So much for a well-deserved rest after weeks of training and preparation.
How demanding is Manny's job as a senator?
PacMan refused offers from HBO to fight in October or December, insisting he would only be available November 5 thru November 14.
Not so bad, right? And where's the evidence that suggests he could lose?
Fot starters, let's look at the consequences of Manny's decision.
Due to PacMan's inflexibility, Manny Pacquiao vs Jessie Vargas is essentially going head to head against Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward, another PPV bout occurring in the same month. (In fact, the latter is probably the biggest fight of the year).
Moreover, because fans are hesitant to pay for two PPV events in the same month, HBO has refused to take part in Pacquiao's fight, forcing his promotions company, Top Rank, to distribute the event itself.
“Why are we going Nov. 5? It’s simple," Top Ran promoter Bob Arum recently told ESPN Boxing.
"That’s the only day I could free Pacquiao up from the senate.... "Manny Pacquiao has said he does not want to miss any senate sessions and the president of the senate told me they should be finished by Oct. 15 or a few days after that (before a recess) [and] .... reconvene the senate on Nov. 8, the Tuesday after Manny fights."
By choosing to fight on November 5 instead of October or December, Manny Pacquiao is risking millions of dollars. What was he thinking?
Given his senatorial obligations are so demanding, one must wonder about his mindset heading into the Vargas showdown.
Manny's actions clearly suggest he's more committed to politics than fighting these days. He's a senator first and a prizefighter second.
Is the writing on the wall for Manny Pacquiao to be upset?
Given Manny's outside-the-ring obligations and insanely busy schedule, can he be in the proper form, physically and psychologically, to conquer a young lion like Jessie Vargas?
Focus and mentality play such a big role in boxing... How much is Manny thinking about his upcoming fight? And how bad does he really want to win?
Victorious or not against Vargas next month, it's difficult to envision the near 38 year-old Pacquiao continuing to thrive like this much longer. Keep in mind, he's also a devoted father, husband and church leader.
... Something has to give.
Will Vargas pummel Pacquiao into retirement?
Even for a fighter with Manny's skills and experience, success on this level requires special dedication.
At 27, Jessie Vargas is no slouch. He has defeated seven undefeated fighters leading into their respective bouts with wins over Anton Novikov, Khabib Allakhverdiev, Wale Omotoso, and most recently former Olympian Sadam Ali. And he hung tough in his lone defeat to Tim Bradley.
Come November 5th, Vargas will be in the best shape of his career, physically and mentally. He will also be fighting with a 'chip on his shoulder' because he's been dismissed by the media and public as not worthy enough to share the big stage with PacMan.
So rest-assured, an in-shape, angry Vargas will enter the ring with that proverbial 'eye of the tiger.'
But regardless of Vargas' desire and level of preparedness, a focused and disciplined Manny Pacquiao steamrolls Jessie, an emerging prizefighter who, as of yet, may not have reached his full potential in boxing.
Question: But, as a prizefighter, just how focused and disciplined is Manny these days?
Pacquiao vs Vargas is intriguing because Manny will be compromised to a degree given his newfound priorities.
So don't be surprised if Vargas upsets the great Pacquiao, whose committment to the sport has apparently faded... Is the writing is on the wall?
Editor's note: Manny Pacquiao is an amazing individual with a heart as big as the Philippines but perhaps it would have been wise for him to put his political career on hold and focus on generating as much money as possible as a prizefighter given he's in the twilight of his career?