JESSIE Vargas is up against a legend and a certified Hall of Famer. But he's unfazed.
The reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion admitted he's not in any way awed with the stature of his challenger Manny Pacquiao as they clash this Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) in a 12-round title fight at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
The 27-year-old Vargas is aware he’s facing the biggest fight of his boxing career, against a great man considered by many as one of the greatest warriors of his era.
But that hardly bothers the native of Los Angeles, California as he makes the first defense of his 147-lbs title belt.
‘Not at all, this is where I belong,” he said less than a week before for the match.
‘It’s here and I am going to take full advantage of it. When you envision something in your head over and over again, it’s like a movie placing you in that position, and once you are there, you’re ready. That’s the way I see it.”
Vargas owns a 31-6 record with 23 knockouts across his name. Five-time world champion Timothy Bradley is the only significant fighter he has faced in his eight-year career, but lost the bout in a 12-round unanimous decision that saw him almost knocking out Bradley in the final round,
It all the more gave him the confidence of pulling an upset against the 37-year-old Pacquiao, who’s making a comeback in the ring after a brief seven-month retirement following his 12-round unanimous decision win against Bradley in April.
Vargas said he’s definitely in the best shape of his career, especially with him up against the only fighter to win world titles in eight different divisions.
“I am in the best shape of my life. I have never felt this strong or this powerful,” he said. “I mean there’s no…I am going to win this fight, that’s how good I feel about it.”