DON’T blame World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Jessie Vargas for hating Filipino boxing hero, Manny Pacquiao.
Vargas is facing Pacquiao in Las Vegas on Nov. 5, putting his 147-pound belt on the line and since the 12-round title fight was announced by Top Rank CEO Bob Arum last month, the Mexican-American champ admitted his dislike for the only man in boxing history to own 10 world championships in eight weight divisions.
Actually, Vargas is thankful that Pacquiao gave him a chance to gain respect he’s been seeking since barging into the limelight six month ago when he took a piece of the welterweight crown with a TKO victory in March over previously undefeated ex-Olympian Sadam Ali.
But the 27 -year-old Los Angeles-born is also relishing the opportunity to avenge the defeats suffered by several of his countrymen, particularly his idols, future Hall of Famers Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera, at the hands of the Filipino hero.
Vargas, who was only six years old when Pacquiao began his pro career, is very much eager to turn the table on Pacquiao and cut short the once pound-for-pound king’s reputation as the :MexiCutioner”
Vargas has never forgotten how Pacquiao destroyed his Mexican ring heroes, especially Morales, who, at one time or another, even trained him in the early years of his pro career.
Morales and Barrera are among the great Mexican ring warriors, who were turned to shreds by Pacquiao in many classic battles.
Barrera fought the Filipino twice, losing as many times, first via TKO in the 11th round for the Ring Magazine featherweight plum in 2003. He lost in a 12-round decision in a rematch four years later.
Morales won the first of his trilogy with the Pacman, but wasn’t lucky in the second and third encounters, dropping a 10th and third round stoppage, respectively.
“I was hurt when I saw how
Pacquiao beat them, particularly in how the third fight with Morales went down,” said Vargas.
“I told myself I would sometime get in the ring and beat Pacquiao. It burns inside of me to win this fight. I will beat Pacquiao to avenge those fights he had with Erik and Marco.”
Pacquiao, who will turn 38 soon, has beaten many excellent boxers worldwide since turning pro in 1995, including Ricky Hatton of England, Joshua Clottey of Ghana, and Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico.
The father of five with wife, former Sarangani Vice Gov. Jinkee, has been impressive, too, against Mexican rivals and those of Mexican descent, including Olympic gold medalist Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez, Jorge Solis and Oscar Larios.
The Pacman has won four world titles at the expense of Mexicans/Mexican-Americans, including Hector Velazquez, David Diaz, and Marquez.
He also defended various championship belts against fighters from south of the US border, including Emmanuel Lucero and Gabriel Mira.