Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao is out to prove he is still one of the very best around in his upcoming world title clash.
The Filipino fighter will be facing WBO welterweight world champion Jessie Vargas from the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, exclusively live on BoxNation on Saturday night.
Following his loss to Floyd Mayweather and his delving into politics in his home country, recently being elected to the Philippines Senate, doubts have arisen as to whether the eight-weight world champion has lost his hunger for boxing.
37-year-old Pacquiao is well aware of the question marks around his fight career and knows he has to show he still belongs with the best when he steps back in the ring for the first time since his April win over Timothy Bradley.
“I want to prove that I am still one of the best pound-for-pound fighters. I feel I still have a lot to prove. I am not done with boxing. I will continue to keep fighting as long as I love boxing and boxing still loves me. I do not feel old. I feel like I am still 27,” said Pacquiao.
“I am fighting for history. I was the first sitting congressman to win a world title. For this one, it is not enough to be the first sitting senator to fight for a world title – I want to be the first senator to become world champion. For me, that would be quite an accomplishment,” he said.
The future Hall-of-Famer will be up against the slick Vargas who has lost just one of his 28 fights and will be making the first defence of his title following his impressive ninth-round stoppage over the talented Sadam Ali.
Pacquiao is refusing to overlook the 27-year-old and knows he will need to bring his A-game to beat the rising American ace. “I do not underestimate Jessie Vargas.
He is a good strong champion. You cannot fight at this level and be successful by underestimating your opponent,” Pacquiao said.
“Every opponent gets my full attention and respect. I respect Jessie and that is why I trained hard. This is the most important fight because it will determine the direction of my boxing career. I need to win convincingly,” he said.
The reigning ‘Fighter of the Decade’ is sure he has all the bases covered to overcome Vargas and is keen to put on a show for the fans.
“We have three different plans for Jessie Vargas,” he said.
“My first concern is for the fans; that the people who are going to watch the fight will be happy and satisfied. I want this to be a fight for fans to remember.”
Pacquiao v Vargas is exclusively live on BoxNation (Sky/Freeview/Virgin/TalkTalk/EE/Apple TV/Online & App) this Saturday night. Buy now at boxnation.com.