This weekend, reigning WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas has his biggest fight to date as he faces the legendary eight division world champion, Manny Pacquiao. While the odds makers have Vargas as a heavy underdog, he has upset the odds before and he hopes to have his star defining performance on Saturday night.
In my “On The Ropes” boxing radio Interview with Jessie Vargas, I get his views on his upcoming fight with Manny Pacquiao and talk with him about his improvement as a fighter. Jessie also talks how Pacquiao looked in his last bout and compared his own strengths with Pacquiao’s. Additionally, Jessie gives his thoughts on what the right game plan is to defeat Pacquiao and his official prediction. Here is what Jessie Vargas had to say.
Jenna J: The biggest fight of your career is this Saturday night against Manny Pacquiao. How do you feel about the match up?
Jessie Vargas: It’s a fight I have been looking forward to for several years, I feel I have a lot of experience in order to come out victorious in this next fight and defeat Manny Pacquiao and to defend my WBO world title. I gave a great performance earlier this year, where I brought in a new team, that’s the reason for it. Billy Cooper, David Hayes, Rafael Garcia, my father and we make a great team together, they bring out the best in me and it’s just perfect timing.
We came out with a great performance in March of this year and now we are looking forward to out do that performance and to give a better one November 5th and I will. I’m feeling stronger than ever, faster than ever, it’s just so many things that have come into play and into this training camp that are having me just over exceed my expectations.
Jenna J: Manny Pacquiao last fought in April and he looked really good in the third fight with Timothy Bradley, where do you see Pacquiao in terms of his prime?
Jessie Vargas: Well, out of the three fights that he had with Bradley, the last one seemed to me that it was more decisive and his best victory out three, so I still see him competing at the highest level, I see him still being the Manny Pacquiao that we all know and I’m glad, I’m glad that he’s still preforming well, because I want to face the best, that way I can prove that I am the best after defeating him. I’m looking forward to it, it’s going to be a great night for me.
Jenna J: While most feel you have improved as a fighter and you are currently a world champion, odds makers have you as a heavy underdog, why do you think they are not giving you a chance against Pacquiao?
Jessie Vargas: Listen, the name that Manny Pacquiao carries is a world wide name. The name recognition that he has is basically what it is. But that’s fine, when I became world champion in 2014 they had me as the underdog, in several of my fights they had me as the underdog, they had me as the underdog since the beginning of my career!
I was put in some tough fights where a lot people did not think I was going to win and I proved them wrong and I did come out successful and I came out victorious. I’m a two time world champion, when I became world champion this year I was the underdog, so that should be my name. Everybody likes the underdog and it’s up to us to show everybody what we are about and that’s what we are going to do, I’m going to prove everybody wrong.
Jenna J: Jessie, when you look at yourself as a fighter, what do you see as your biggest advantages?
Jessie Vargas: My biggest advantages would be, my intelligence inside that ring, my speed, my youth, my power, my reach, my height, my great footwork that is going to be able to match his footwork. I mean, believe me, your going to be surprised November 5th, tune in and your going to see all the great qualities that I have as a fighter and your going to become a fan.
Jenna J: When you look at Manny Pacquiao, what are some of his biggest strengths?
Jessie Vargas: His biggest strengths are his footwork, he has very good speed, experience and reckless aggression that sometimes he uses it to his advantage, but it also can be used as a disadvantage as Floyd Mayweather showed and also Juan Manuel Marquez showed. He has some very good qualities as well as a couple of mistakes and we plan to capitalize on those mistakes.
Jenna J: Jessie, I know you don’t want to give away your game plan, but you have seen a few fighters decisively beat Manny Pacquiao, Mayweather outboxed him and Marquez timed and countered him. What do you think is the best way to go about beating Manny Pacquiao?
Jessie Vargas: I think it’s just fighting my fight, paying attention to my corner’s instructions and fighting the type of fight that Jessie Vargas would fight. I’m not a Marquez, I’m not a Floyd Mayweather, I’m not a Chavez, I’m my own style, but I could steal a little bit from all fighters and that makes my style, so you are going to see a unique way of defeating Manny, that’s what you are going to see.
Jenna J: How do you expect the Manny Pacquiao fight to play out from the opening bell to the finish?
Jessie Vargas: Fireworks, fireworks from the beginning, I truly believe that I, Jessie Vargas, will win by knockout. That is what I truly believe in my heart, I have never been this strong before I have never been this fast. I’m going for the knockout the minute that I see the opportunity I’m going to take it.