You cannot keep a good man down, and Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao looks set to return to the ring this November 5 as he dances toe-to-toe with Jessie Vargas. The Mexican-American World Boxing Organization welterweight titlist Jessie Vagas would put his title on the line against eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao this November 5 date at the Thomas & Mack Center inside the University of Las Vegas-Nevada.
Also fondly referred to as “Pacman”, will Manny Pacquiao be able to hold his own in the ring after retiring from the sport in May last year as he lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr.? Only time will be able to tell, but Manny Pacquiao’s assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez claims that Pacman is now at a 80% fighting fit level, and is one fifth away from being in tip-top shape in order to pick up the belt that he had held twice in the past.
Fernandez shared, "Manny's 80 percent ready. The sparring would have actually been commenced upon the arrival of Freddie (American chief trainer Freddie Roach), but we took it upon ourselves -- Manny and members of the training team (Nonoy Neri and Roger "Haplas" Fernandez) to hold least two sparring sessions this week precisely to gauge how far the first four weeks of preparations had gone.”
This assessment came about after putting Pacman through 60 rounds of doing the mitts, as well as the nine rounds that Pacman has completed to date. Perhaps it would take five more weeks before Manny arrives at his peak condition, which would be just in time for the title bout to commence. One should also not discount the mental preparation that all athletes have to go through, with some having a more rigorous test than the others.
Freddie Roach will also be roped into Manny Pacquiao's camp. His expected arrival at the training camp on Tuesday is seen by many as a shift in gears to help Manny Pacquiao prepare for his title fight against Jessie Vargas. Freddie Roach is no stranger to the world of boxing, being a Hall of Fame trainer.
Strength and conditioning coach Justine Fortune is already around, and he is the one behind the training camp of the 37-year-old Pacman, alongside other Filipino trainers Buboy Fernandez and Nonoy Neri, over at the Elorde boxing gym. Sparring with Pacquiao kicked off last week, and Roach widely tipped to continue in the supervision of Pacquiao's sparring sessions upon his arrival. There will be at least a month's work on the cards for the 56-year-old to whip Pacman into fighting fit shape.
Team Pacquiao is all set to leave for the US at least a fortnight before the November 5 bout. Who are you rooting for to win in the coming bout? Of course, it is always nice to see legends walk away from the scene when they know that they are done and dusted, but does Pacman have one more title winning fight left in him in order to mark a glorious comeback, or will defeat be a confirmation that he should have stuck to politics back home?