Manny Pacquiao still needs a hook to sell his fights, at this stage of his career.
Pacquiao meets a likable but relatively unknown Jessie Vargas with a piece of the welterweight title at stake.
He might have been enough to excite boxing fans in the past but Pacquiao is now going older and so is his appeal.
He probably should have retired after not showing up for the biggest fight of his life against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
And he certainly should have retired after getting elected to the senate, where he is an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Yet he continues to work slowly but with heavy steps, partly because he reportedly needs the money.
He got a few million dollars to fight Timothy Bradley in April but is fighting on percentages against Vargas, so the sales pitch is necessary.
Who is Jessie Vargas? A boxing fanatic is asking what is the caliber of this fighter whom Manny Pacquiao meets in a championship duel in Las Vegas on Nov. 5?
Vargas’ name was practically unheard and before his name came up, there was high expectation of Pacquiao’s fight.
People expect that after Manny’s retirement, he would be clashing with the unbeaten Terence Crawford, the undisputed world junior welterweight king.
Bob Aron, Manny’s promoter actually reserved ahead the November 6 fight for Pacquiao in Las Vegas.
Unfortunately, Pacquiao’s tight schedule in the Senate would leave him not enough time to properly train and prepare for a big fight, so Arum had to put up a substitute opponent.
Pitting Pacquiao against the reigning WBO 147-lbs. ruler sounded good enough but it was a made-to-order easier fight for the Filipino boxing superstar.
There was even a bigger problem of how to sell the bout, which HBO has refused to distribute.
Nevertheless, on social media, though, some fans were still seemingly eager while waiting for updates on the fight with television stations airing it on a delayed basis.
While there were negative comments, most were still quick to congratulate Pacquiao, who promised to return to the country, the day after his bout.