Sun, Jul 31, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Vargas eyeing up welterweight title fight with Pacquiao

AFP, LOS ANGELES

There are no shortage of suitors for Manny Pacquiao, but Mexican-American boxer Jessie Vargas thinks he has the inside track when it comes to enticing the Philippine superstar back into the ring.

“I am the WBO welterweight champion and he wants to return to fight for this belt. So I am happy to give him a title shot,” Vargas said during a Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame function on Friday.

Vargas (27-1-0) said he is in talks with Pacquiao’s camp to hold a fight on Nov. 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

“The fight is still under negotiation and I can say that soon we will announce it, although I do not want to advance because in boxing everything can change every minute,” Vargas said.

Undefeated Terence Crawford has also been named as potential opponent for Pacquiao, who is likely to return to the ring later this year, his promoter Bob Arum said.

Arum tweeted on Friday night that he is also talking to a group that wants to stage Pacquiao’s next fight in the Middle East.

“Meeting on Sunday with people anxious to put on a @MannyPacquiaoTR fight in the Middle East,” Arum wrote.

Vargas won the vacant WBO welterweight title with a ninth round techinal knockout of Sadam Ali in March.

“Manny has never faced someone like me. I’m at my best, I have several advantages. I’m taller and faster than him. I’m [a] really smart fighter too,” Vargas said.

“I not only want to face him, but I want to beat him. Juan Manuel Marquez did it and I want to beat him too, mainly because at his best he was someone who gave many headaches to Mexico fighters,” he said.

Record eight-division champion Pacquiao had previously announced his retirement from boxing in April after his unanimous-decision victory over Timothy Bradley.

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