Vargas joins list of significantly taller Pacquiao foes
By Dino Maragay Updated Thursday November 03, 2016 - 4:52pm

Manny Pacquiao and Jessie Vargas pose in a traditional staredown during the final press conference at the Margaux Ballroom of Wynn Las Vegas on Wednesday (Thursday Manila time). | Photo courtesy of Wendell Alinea

LAS VEGAS - When WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas sets foot on the ring against Manny Pacquiao here Saturday (Sunday in Manila), he will join the roster of boxers who enjoyed a notable height advantage over the Filipino icon.

At 5-foot-11, Vargas will be the fourth opponent who will tower over Pacquiao.

The first time Pacquiao faced a significantly taller guy was in 2008, against the 5-foot-10½ Oscar Dela Hoya, a fight in which Pacquiao was pegged as a heavy underdog.

But the General Santos City-based southpaw shocked the world when he employed his tremendous speed and footwork to batter De La Hoya in a one-sided affair, forcing "The Golden Boy" to quit on his stool in the eighth round.

Pacquiao's conquest of taller foes continued when took on Antonio Margarito in 2010. That fight also resulted in a lopsided manner, with Pacquiao pummeling the 5-foot-11 Margarito for 12 rounds on his way to a unanimous decision.

Four years later in Macau, Pacquiao fought American Chris Algieri, who stood 5-foot-10, knocking him down a whooping six times en route to a similarly one-sided win.

Now, Pacquiao will find himself in familiar territory against Vargas, who claimed that the difference in height will spell a difference this time.

But Pacquiao is having none of it, saying it's about one's ability to actually put his physical advantages to good use.

"It depends on your body's reaction, your capability to do what you are actually thinking about doing," he told reporters in a meeting prior to Wednesday's final press conference at Wynn Las Vegas.

"Some fighters, they can think more than they can do," he added.

Now it's up to Vargas whether he can indeed make a difference, or end up being just another statistic.

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