Jessie Vargas on possible bout with Manny Pacquiao: ‘I am happy to give him a title shot’
Los Angeles // There are no shortage of suitors for Manny Pacquiao, but Mexican-American boxer Jessie Vargas thinks he has the inside track when it comes to enticing the Filipino superstar back into the ring.
“I am the WBO welterweight champion and he wants to return to fight for this belt. So I am happy to give him a title shot,” Vargas said during the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame function on Friday.
Vargas (27-1-0) said Friday he is in talks with Pacquiao’s camp to hold a fight on November 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center arena in Las Vegas.
“The fight is still under negotiation and I can say that soon we will announce it, although I do not want to advance because in boxing everything can change every minute,” Vargas said.
Undefeated Terence Crawford has also been named as potential opponent for Pacquiao, who is likely to return to the ring later this year according to his promoter Bob Arum.
Arum tweeted Friday night that he is also talking to a group that wants to stage Pacquiao’s next fight in the Middle East.
“Meeting on Sunday with people anxious to put on a @MannyPacquiaoTR fight in the Middle East,” Arum wrote.
Vargas won the vacant WBO welterweight title with a ninth round TKO of Sadam Ali in March.
“Manny has never faced someone like me. I’m at my best, I have several advantages. I’m taller and faster than him. I’m really smart fighter too,” Vargas said.
“I not only want to face him but I want to beat him. Juan Manuel Marquez did it and I want to beat him too, mainly because at his best he was someone who gave many headaches to Mexico fighters,” he said.
Record eight division champion Pacquiao announced his retirement from boxing in April after his unanimous decision victory over Timothy Bradley.
Stevenson defends title with fourth round KO
Canada’s Adonis Stevenson made his seventh successful title defense by knocking out Thomas Williams at 2:54 of the fourth round to retain his WBC light heavyweight belt on Friday night.
Stevenson improved to 28-1, with 23 knockouts as he almost ended the southpaw slugfest in opening round at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City.
With about 30 seconds left in the first round, Stevenson slammed a hard left into the side of Williams’ head, sending the American to the canvas. But Williams was able to get up and beat referee Michael Griffin’s count.
“He wanted to put on some pressure, so I put some on as well,” said Stevenson. “Two men who know how to fight. We gave a good show, and that’s what people want to see.”
Stevenson was fighting for the first time since scoring a third-round knockout 10 months ago of journeyman fighter Tommy Karpency in Toronto.
The 38-year-old Stevenson went on the attack in the fourth, landing a barrage of body shots which took their toll on Williams. With the challenger slowed and unable to put up a proper defense, Stevenson landed a vicious left to the head that put Williams down for good.
It was Stevenson’s seventh title defense of the crown he took from US fighter Chad Dawson by knockout in June 2013.
Stevenson is on a 15-fight win streak since suffering his lone loss to Darnell Boone in 2010, a defeat he avenged by knocking out the American in 2013. In all, Stevenson has 13 knockouts in his past 15 bouts.
Stevenson, who hasn’t fought outside Canada since 2011, holds the lone belt in the division not owned by Russian fighter Sergey Kovalev.
Williams’ record dropped to 20-2 with 14 knockouts.
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Updated: July 30, 2016 04:00 AM