Pac­quiao beats Var­gas to take WBO wel­ter­weight belt

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports Local - BY JEFF POWELL /

Manny Pac­quiao still awaits his first knock-out vic­tory for seven years.

But at com­ing up to 38 he turned the clock back to his vin­tage finest to win the 11th ti­tle of his phe­nom­e­nal ca­reer.

Whether that will be enough to lure Floyd May­weather out of re­tire­ment for another mega-bucks bat­tle of the leg­ends is un­clear. Mr Money broke the habit of his pro­fes­sional life­time by tak­ing a seat at ring­side to watch Pac­quiao in ac­tion.

With a man this un­pre­dictable it is dif­fi­cult to cal­cu­late his con­sid­ered re­ac­tion.

Pac­quiao’s fail­ure to fin­ish off a much larger op­po­nent, Jessie Var­gas, who he beat to a pulp may give May­weather an ex­cuse to turn down the in­vi­ta­tion.

Alternatively he may sense less dan­ger and be tempted to bank another for­tune.

If, say, next Septem­ber they only made half as much money as in their first fight May­weather would bank $110 mil­lion (Sh11.18bn), Pac­quiao $80 mil­lion (Sh8.13bn)).

But what Pac­quiao has proved is that he can com­bine his two ex­act­ing roles – as a fighter and Filipino Sen­a­tor – with dig­nity and suc­cess.

That re­solved he has made it clear he will con­tinue box­ing next year – against Ter­ence Craw­ford or who­ever else his pro­moter Bob Arum puts in front of him.

Manny Pac­quiao (R) of the Philip­pines punches WBO wel­ter­weight cham­pion Jessie Var­gas of Las Ve­gas.

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