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REPORTS: Pacquiao picks Vargas for return bout


After all the farewells, the tributes, and the fanfare, Pacquiao’s retirement will have to wait.

Boxer turned part-time basketball player turned legislator Manny Pacquiao will make his return to the squared circle in a few months time, tentatively November 5.

Pacquiao’s manager Michael Koncz confirmed this in an interview with the Los Angeles Times Thursday morning (Philippine time).

“Retirement doesn’t suit Manny right now,” Michael Koncz told the publication. “Boxing is in his blood.”

“When he trains, it’s like a pressure-release valve. You can see a dramatic difference in his mood; he’s happy. It’s amazing what training and fighting does for him.”

Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38KO) originally set his retirement fight last April after finishing a trilogy against Timothy Bradley. Boxing’s only eight-division world champion took the fight via a lopsided unanimous decision victory.

However, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum consistently downplayed his fighter’s decision to retire. It proved to be true as Arum is set to arrive with Koncz to “finalize” the details of the fight.

“That’s the essence of the meeting,” Koncz furthered.

“Not choosing the opponent. That’s already been done.”

Pacquiao’s chosen opponent is reigning WBO World Welterweight Champion Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs). The venue and the fight purse for both fighters will still be discussed once Arum and Pacquiao meet in Manila.

“We’re going to try to put together a fight that is the best economic package for Manny,” Koncz closed.

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