Manny Pacquiao Names Opponent for Fall Comeback Fight

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Manny Pacquiao retired after his April 9 rubber-match victory over Timothy Bradley. He returns from retirement on November 5.

Pac Man takes on a foe dominated by his last foe and without the the knockout power to pose much of a threat to the Filipino. The pattycake punching Jessie Vargas owns just 10 knockouts in 28 fights. He wears the unheralded WBO welterweight title, which gives Pacquiao a chance to claim another alphabet-soup championship without the dangers involved in facing the powerful Keith Thurman, the swarming Shawn Porter, the undefeated Danny Garcia, or any of the other top guys in a stacked division.

The 27-1 Jessie Vargas, whose lone loss came to Bradley, takes on Pacquiao in his comeback fight seven months after his fake retirement. For the last decade, save for last year when he recouped from a shoulder injury, Pacqiuiao’s fight schedule always included a late-fall bout. Almost always, they followed a spring match. So, despite announcing his retirement, the Filipino fighter’s 2016 looks just like any other year in the career of Manny Pacquiao.

Even when he confirmed his departure from the ring after beating Bradley in April he signaled his return to it.

“As of now, I am retired,” Pacquiao told HBO audience on pay-per view. “I’m going to go home and think about it. I want to be with my family. I want to serve the people.”

The five-division lineal champion announced his retirement to focus on politics, and the month after his swan song in the ring he promptly won a seat in the Philippines senate. But shortly after winning in politics he began talking about winning in the ring again—initially in Rio at the Olympic Games once pros received the go-ahead to fight joes for the gold. November’s fight lacks a location. Las Vegas and Dubai appear as favorites. And Pacquiao does too.