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Sparmate warns Pacquiao: Fighting Vargas won’t be easy

Manny Pacquiao with his sparring partner Raymundo Beltran. | Philstar.com/Dino Maragay

LOS ANGELES – One of Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partners has cautioned the Filipino icon against getting complacent in the ring with WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas.

Although Vargas is a huge underdog heading to next week’s fight, Pacquiao’s sparmate Raymundo Beltran warned the Filipino icon not to let his guard down.

“Anybody can hurt you, it just takes on shot, anything can happen,” Beltran, a veteran super lightweight contender, told Philstar.com/The STAR at the Wild Card Gym here.

The 35-year-old Mexican has been trading gloves with Pacquiao in closed-door sessions that he described as “intense” and “hard,” claiming he’s having a hard time seeing Pacquiao’s punches.

“Manny is on a different level, man. With other guys, I kind of see their punches. With all the other guys, I can relax. Not with Manny,” he continued.

But Beltran (31-7-1, with 19 KOs) stressed that Vargas shouldn’t be counted out. Hunger, Beltran said, is what makes the 27-year-old Vargas a dangerous opponent for Pacquiao.

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“You got to be careful. You can't take Vargas lightly. He's a hungry fighter. He wants what Manny has. He wants to put Manny on his record,” he added.

“So it's not an easy fight. But I think it's gonna be a really fun fight,” said Beltran, a three-time WBO lightweight title challenger.

Pacquiao, for his part, said he’s wary of Vargas, whose punching power may be underrated.

“Mag-aabang yan [Vargas will wait and try to counter],” Pacquiao told Filipino reporters the other day.

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