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Nick Giongco

Pacquiao focused on dethroning Vargas

Jessie Vargas is Manny Pacquiao’s sole focus as the Filipino legends spends the last few days of training camp in Los Angeles. “I’m not taking this fight lightly,” Pacquiao told fightnews two days after his arrival in the US from Manila where he trained for six weeks under the guidance of Freddie Roach. Pacquiao attempts to dethrone Vargas as World Boxing Organization welterweight king on Nov. 5 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. To say that Pacquiao is looking past Vargas as he eyes a return match with Floyd Mayweather in 2017 is not right and proper. “Vargas is the champion and I won’t underestimate him…I’m not thinking about any fights in 2017. One at a time. I can’t say ‘yes’ right now. Let me finish this fight first!” Vargas, 27, is …

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Ledesma withdraws from Vargas ticket

Table tennis head Ting Ledesma personally went to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) headquarters yesterday to withdraw his candidacy for auditor, saying he didn’t give the group of presidential aspirant Ricky Vargas the consent to include his name. “I don’t even know Vic, uh, Ricky Vargas,” Ledesma told the Bulletin after dropping by the POC to submit a letter asking that his name be excluded. The letter was addressed to Frank Elizalde, chairman of the three-man committee tasked to handle the conduct of the elections set Nov. 25. Last Monday, Vargas, who heads the boxing association, went to the POC to formally file his candidacy for president joined by running mates, cycling chief Bambol Tolentino, Lucas Managuelod of Muay and Sonny Barrios of basketball. Ledesma said he was in Indonesia competing in a tournament …

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Time for change has come – Vargas

Boxing association head Ricky Vargas made into reality what many thought was impossible just weeks ago: challenge incumbent Jose “Peping” Cojuangco for the presidency of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC). Vargas, trailed by reporters and photographers, filed his certificate of candidacy yesterday at the POC office in Pasig City and said “the time for change has come.” Vargas was accompanied by other sports officials who will be running under his ticket and the group posed for photographs with one hand extended in closed fists. The message was not lost that they are supported or seeking support from the Duterte administration. Whether this would translate to winning the election remains to be seen as their certificates of candidacy are currently being studied by a three-man election committee headed by Cojuangco ally Frank Elizalde, formerly …

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Dustin Johnson named to replace Day vs Rory

Dustin Johnson named Dustin Johnson, the world’s No. 2 golfer, has taken the place of Jason Day in a one-day exhibition charity game on Nov. 29 in a golf course that has recently been completed in Lubao, Pampanga. Johnson will play alongside Rory McIlroy, the world No. 3 in what is billed as the biggest golfing event to be held in the country since 1998 when Tiger Woods, at the prime of his career, played at the Mimosa golf club inside in Clark Air Base. Johnson and McIlory will play at the Pradera Verde Golf and Counttry Club, a course that has not hosted a single professional or amateur tournament opened for play only this year. The players reportedly will receive an appearance fee of $1 million each. The course was reportedly built by …

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MVP-backed Vargas to challenge Cojuangco

Sports leaders vying in the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) elections on Nov. 26 have until this noon to file their candidacies at the POC headquarters in Pasig City. Candidates have to be physically present and the three-man election panel headed by Frank Elizalde, formerly the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Representative to the Philippines, will soon decide if a candidate is eligible to run. Incumbent POC president Jose 'Peping' Cojuangco Jr.  is gunning for a fourth term and his stranglehold is being challenged by boxing chief Ricky Vargas. Vargas is going to file his candidacy today after securing the support of several key figures. He has also the backing of telecommunications mogul Manny V. Pangilinan. But Vargas faces a big problem in the eyes of Elizalde, Rep. Conrado Estrella and Fr. Bernie Oca of La …

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Pacquiao gives Roach a reason to smile

Just hours before flying to the US last night, Sen. Manny Pacquiao showed up for training, looking every inch the same fighter notorious for dealing his foes a nasty beating. Exactly two weeks before facing Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas, Pacquiao gave his long-time trainer, hall of Fame entrant Freddie Roach a reason to board the Philippine Airlines jet bound for Los Angeles wearing a big smile. “That left hand can kill you,” said Roach after presiding over Pacquiao’s last training session in the country. Roach is hoping that Pacquiao’s left would deliver so the Filipino legend can finally bring an end to six years of struggle trying to score an abbreviated win. The last time Pacquiao posted a knockout was against Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico in November, 2009. No less than a sensational …

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Pacquiao ends heavy training; LA trip set

Manny Pacquiao has reached the zenith of his buildup for the Jessie Vargas clash on Nov. 5 after doing ten full rounds of sparring over the weekend, the same number of rounds the Filipino legend will do today before he begins to cool down. “We are ready to go,” Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach just before presiding over another day of intense training yesterday. “No worries, nothing,” said Roach, who came over to Manila four weeks ago to supervise Pacquiao’s run-up for his crack at Vargas’ World Boxing Organization welterweight crown at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. Previously, Roach had Pacquiao doing 12 rounds of sparring but “this time we will peak at 10 (rounds).” Before they fly to Los Angeles this Saturday night, Pacquiao will do three more sparring …

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Pacquiao fears me –Vargas

Less than four weeks before the biggest bout of his career, Jessie Vargas took a break from his hectic training schedule and told the TV production crew tailing him one startling observation in the runup to his Nov. 5 clash with Manny Pacquiao. “I know Pacquiao is intimidated,” said Vargas, confident that the Filipino eight-division champion fears him as he looks forward to making the first defense of the world welterweight crown at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. Vargas is a Las Vegas native and he feels that everything is working on his favor even though oddsmakers have installed him as a huge underdog against the 37-year-old Pacquiao. Pacquiao is coming back after a brief retirement and a victory over Vargas is seen as a stepping stone towards a possible …

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Cramps fail to stop Pacquiao training

Manny Pacquiao did not show any sign of the flu virus that sidelined him during the weekend as he engaged in an intense workout Tuesday night for his buildup for the Nov. 5 clash with Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas. But an old problem resurfaced during the tail end of his five-round sparring session with Jose Ramirez when he complained of a shooting pain on his right calf. It turned out he was hit by cramps. “Parang tinutusok ng karayom,” said Pacquiao, grimacing, as a member of his training team massaged his right calf to ease the pain. When the pain dissipated, local sparmate Leonardo Doronio was called to provide three rounds to bring his sparring session to eight rounds, two rounds short of what trainer Freddie Roach had initially wanted. Roach was aware …

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Pacquiao down with flu

Sen. Manny Pacquiao didn't show up for training for two straight days during the weekend owing to the flu. But the eight-division champion is expected to turn up at the Elorde Gym this afternoon after getting the chance to rest from Friday until yesterday. With four weeks to go before facing world welter king Jessie Vargas on Nov. 5 in Las Vegas, Pacquiao should step up in his buildup as trainer Freddie Roach is all set to increase the number of sparring rounds to ten from eight the last time. Before taking a break, Pacquiao sparred eight rounds Thursday despite nursing a cold. The cold worsened and according to Aquiles Zonio, Pacquiao went down with the flu. Despite skipping two training days, Pacquiao should make it up in the remainder of the preparation as he …

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