BOXING

Pacquiao reclaims WBO welterweight title

The Filipino reclaimed the title for the third time with a unanimous decision victory over former champion Jesse Vargas in his comeback fight on Saturday.

Pacquiao reclaims WBO welterweight title
STEVE MARCUS REUTERS

Pacquiao wins comeback fight

Manny Pacquiao reclaimed the World Boxing Organization welterweight title for the third time with a unanimous decision victory over former champion Jesse Vargas in his comeback fight on Saturday.

The 37-year-old systematically dismantled the former welterweight champion despite Vargas' size and reach. He used a short right-handed counterpunch to floor Vargas in the second round en route to a one-sided win in front of a 16,132-strong crowd at Las Vegas' Thomas & Mack Center.

“I feel happy. I'm trying every round to knock him down but also not be careless”, the Filipino said afterwards.

Manny Pacquiao

Unanimous decision

Pacquiao, 59-6 with two drawn and 38 knockouts, showed he still has a lot left in the tank but he failed to get the knockout victory that has eluded him for the past seven years. All three judges scored the bout for Pacquiao, two of them by 118-109 and the other by 114-113.

Pacquiao won the WBO title for the first time in 2010 when he beat Miguel Cotto. He lost it two years later to Timothy Bradley, then got it back by winning the rematch with Bradley in 2014. He then lost it last year to the now-retired Floyd Mayweather, who had a front row seat for Saturday's bout.

“Yes I invited him to come along tonight”, he said of Mayweather but when asked if he was considering a rematch with Mayweather, he said, “We will see”.

Meanwhile Vargas aid: “Fighting Manny Pacquiao is like playing a very fast game of chess. You have to be alert at all times. He was very fast but I was able to get in a few counters”.