For Eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, challenging the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Jessie Vargas is an honor.
“It’s an honor for me to fight a champion,” Pacquiao said in a press conference on Wednesday, Nov. 2.
Pacman received a warm welcome from fans upon his arrival in Las Vegas, a few days before his upcoming match with Vargas.
The Pacquiao-Vargas bout will be held on Saturday, November 5, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
“I’m very thankful for all my fans for all the support they’ve been giving me. And on November 5, I wanna be successful with a great win,” the Filipino champ said.
Pacquiao, who was also elected senator in May 2016, expressed his determination to make another record in boxing history as the first senator to win a world championship.
“I’m so interested to win convincingly and get the belt because this is my first fight since being elected as senator,” he said.
For Pacquiao, it’s not easy working both as a senator and a boxer. But through discipline and time management, he said he was able to overcome the hardship.
“I’m glad that I fulfilled my duty and I maintained boxing. I’m so excited for the Saturday. I’m sure it’s going to be a good fight, more action in the ring,” he said.
Pacquiao, 37, has a record of 58 wins in 66 fights. Meanwhile, Vargas, 27, has fought 28 times and only lost once in 2015.
While the odds of the match were 5-1 in favor of Pacquiao, some noted that the age difference between the two fighters could be a disadvantage for the Filipino champ.
“Never underestimate the heart of a young, lion champion,” warned Dewey Cooper, Vargas’ trainer.
However, Pacquiao’s coach, Freddie Roach, does not believe so.
“I think it’s a disadvantage (for Vargas). He’s younger and he’s not experienced, and Manny… his level’s much higher than him. He’s never fought someone like him,” Roach pointed out.
At the co-main event of Pacman’s comeback fight, Filipino boxer Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. will defend his WBO junior featherweight title against Jessie Magdaleno.
“Happy ako na kasama ko siya, na kasabay ko siya sa fight. Gusto ko may mga Filipino na may kasama akong lalaban, hindi lang ako, para makapagdala ng karangalan sa bansa (I’m happy to fight alongside with him. I want to have fellow Filipinos fight with me, not just me alone, to bring honor to our country),” Pacquiao said.