Following reports last week of his return from retirement, Manny Pacquiao confirmed Tuesday (Aug. 9) that he will challenge welterweight champ Jessie Vargas on Nov. 5 in Las Vegas.
The news clarifies confusion from last week. Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s adviser, said that Vargas was the opponent, while promoter Bob Arum denied reports.
After a meeting, Pacquaio made the announcement.
“Yes, the fight is on. I have agreed to a Nov. 5 fight with reigning WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas,” Pacquiao said. “Boxing is my passion. I miss what I’d been doing inside the gym and atop the ring.”
Pacquiao announced his retirement back in April, after earning a lopsided unanimous decision victory over Timothy Bradley Jr. in their third meeting.
A month later, the boxing star was elected to the senate in the Philippines.
With obilgations in government in his native country, Pac-Man plans to train around his senate duties by training in early mornings and then again in evenings before the government body goes into recess. He’ll then be allowed a few weeks to finish training in the United States and to fight.
Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs), of Las Vegas, agreed to a deal for the fight a couple of weeks ago, but it was contingent on Pacquiao picking him as the opponent. The 27-year-old will be making his first title defense after a knockout victory of then-undefeated contender Sadam Ali to win the vacant belt in March.