Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas Boxing Preview, Pick, Odds, Prediction - 11/5/16
Vargas vs. Pacquiao
Boxing: Saturday, November 5, 2016 (Thomas & Mack Center)
The Line: Pacquiao -850 / Vargas +575 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Manny Pacquiao and Jessie Vargas fight Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center for the WBO welterweight title.
Manny Pacquiao enters this fight with a 58-6-2 record that includes 38 knockouts. Pacquiao has won 10 of his last 13 fights and is coming off a April win over Timothy Bradley Jr. Pacquiao is back in the ring despite saying he was going to retire and hopes to prove to boxing fans he still has it despite turning 38 years old in December. Pacquiao looked sharp in his last fight, as the quickness and ability to control the ring are still there, but he’s obviously not nearly as consistent or dominant as he’s been in the past. Three of Pacquiao’s six career losses have come since 2012 and it’s fair to question the motivation for this fight after supposedly stepping away from the spot a few months ago. However, you still know what you’re getting with Pacquiao, and unless you’re an elite boxer or have a special skillset, it’s going to be tough to beat him. This will be Pacquiao’s 19th fight in Las Vegas.
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Jessie Vargas enters this fight with a 27-1 record that includes 10 knockouts. Vargas has won five of his last six fights and is coming off a March win over Sadam Ali. Vargas bounced back nicely from his loss to Timothy Bradley by giving Ali his first loss, which was a knockout. Vargas is a big fighter at 5’10” and has a dangerous left hook that must be accounted for. Vargas is also an extremely experienced boxer at 27 years old who racked up 140 amatuer fights and is one of the more confident guys you’re going to see in the ring. It may not always be pretty, but Vargas simply finds ways to win. The concern with Vargas is that he’s not a big puncher and can’t end a fight on his terms, as 11 of his last 12 bouts have ended in decisions. This will be Vargas’ 13th fight in Las Vegas, his current residence.
There’s value with Vargas and this line considering he’s an experienced boxer and is about a decade younger than the aging legend. Pacquiao is getting older by the day and we’ve seen how ugly things can end for guys who just can’t leave the sport alone. However, Vargas doesn’t have the power to end this thing, which means he’s going to have to outbox Pacquiao. I don’t see that happening. Pacquiao still has his speed and craftiness, which should lead to a boxing lesson from the soon to be 38-year-old. After all, Vargas did get handled easily by Bradley last year in a bout where both opponents are close to the same level.
I wouldn’t blame you if you took a flyer on Vargas for the upset, but Pacquiao should be able to win this fight.