LEGENDS are born and Jessie Vargas knows he is.
And the road towards that legacy will be on Nov. 5 (Nov. 6, Manila time) , the day when Vargas retains his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title by pulling off an upset against the great Manny Pacquiao.
A week before their 12-round fight at the Thomas and Mac Center in Las Vegas, Vargas vowed to join a select list of fighters who were able to deal the 37-year-old Filipino a loss in his stellar 21-year career.
“The only fighters to beat Manny Pacquiao have become legends themselves. So I plan to become one of the few to beat Manny Pacquiao and also become one of the legends,” said Vargas in a transcript of a question and answer portion while in training camp for the Pacquiao bout.
Among the fabled fighters to have beaten the Pacman in his 66 pro fights include the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez, Eric Morales, and Timothy Bradley.
Vargas, 27, believes he belongs in the same class.
“It would definitely put me on the world-wide stage, make me that boxing star that I have been looking forward to being,” said the native of Los Angeles. “I have been waiting for this for a long time and I’m glad it’s here, and I am going to take advantage of it.”
Vargas became welterweight champion last March by scoring a ninth round TKO win over previously unbeaten Sadam Ali.
Now superstardom beckons upon him, according to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum.
“He becomes not just a champion, but a superstar,” said Arum.
“I will deny that I said that because I will have to negotiate his next fight (laughing). He would be a superstar there is no question about that if he were to beat Manny Pacquiao. And he has a hell of a shot to do that.”