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It’s been seven months since Manny Pacquiao beat Timothy Bradley, but it seems much longer than that. I’m not sure there’s ever been less anticipation for a Manny Pacquiao fight since he became a big star. HBO didn’t want to have two cards so closely together and they’ve put everything into the Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev fight. Thus, HBO isn’t partnering with Top Rank on this PPV.
I don’t know that anyone is really dying to see this fight as much as that Manny Pacquiao still has a large fanbase who wants to see him fight.
Manny Pacquiao vs Jessie Vargas
Vargas was very tentative, trying to measure and time Pacquiao, pawing his jab out there so Pacquiao couldn’t just dive in. No one really won the round, but I’d probably lean Pacquiao. Vargas landed a couple rights.
The round was just going slowly until Vargas hesitated after throwing a weak jab and Pacquiao threw a left hand that knocked him down. It looked like Pacquiao may have stepped on his foot, but I couldn’t tell. Still, Vargas doesn’t seem ready for Pacquiao’s speed.
Pacquiao started to pick up the pace. Vargas was trying to not get overwhelmed, but Pacquiao was bouncing all around him. Vargas landed a nice right hand late in the round, but otherwise seemed frustrated at his inability to catch him.
I think Vargas may have taken the fourth. He landed the best shot of the round with a right that stunned Pacquiao a bit. Manny’s shots weren’t all that accurate in the round. He’s also stepping on Vargas’ foot often.
I have the fifth for Pacquiao, but it looks like Vargas is more comfortable. Pacquiao landed a straight left that popped Vargas. Vargas is loading up on the right hand. He’s missing it mostly, but is landing it once in awhile.
The sixth was close as Pacquiao is finding himself open to the right hand because he’s trying to land the big left. Vargas is being patient, waiting for Manny to commit before trying to land the right hand. But he doesn’t follow it up. He’s landing one shot and then moving. He may be scoring points here, but I’m not sure he’s doing much damage. I’ll give him the sixth. Have Manny up 4-2.
This was another close round, but I have a feeling Pacquiao’s getting all the close rounds. To me, Vargas is fighting much too safe of fight, but maybe he wants to avoid getting put on the floor. But it’s not like Manny’s knocked anyone out in a long time. He should be more active and force the issue.
Vargas landed the best shot, but Pacquiao seemed to land more significant shots. They may have bumped heads (which might be a second time it happened in the fight). Vargas has blood coming from his eye. I think Pacquiao takes that one as well. I have Pacquiao up 6-2.
Pacquiao is really comfortable right now. Vargas is slowing down and Pacquiao cruised through that round. It sounds like the blood came from a punch and not from a clashing of the heads. Though, their heads are often getting close to each other.
Vargas had a couple of spirited moments, but it looks like Pacquiao’s skill has zapped some of the will out of him. It seems like Vargas may be a bit deflated. Pacquiao is doing enough to win these rounds, but he knows he’s able to cruise with someone like Vargas.
Best moment in the round was when Vargas tripped over Pacquiao’s lead foot. Their feet got tied up, Vargas tripped, and Manny landed a right hook that made him fall. Otherwise, it was the same as it’s been for the last several rounds. Vargas can’t catch him and Pacquiao’s staying active enough to easily win these rounds.
Much of the same. There was nothing that Vargas did in the 12th that changed the fight in any way. Nice effort, but this fight wasn’t all that close. And Pacquiao knew he could coast.
Winner: Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision
The scores were 114-113, 118-109, and 118-109. Not sure about that first scorecard.