Floyd Mayweather Jr. stopped by to see an old foe, and Manny Pacquiao tried his best to give him a show.
With Mayweather watching intently from a ringside seat, Pacquiao dropped Jessie Vargas in the second round and bloodied his face Saturday night on his way to a lopsided decision that gave him a piece of the welterweight title once again.
Pacquiao won on all three ringside scorecards — 118-109, 118-109 114-113 — to take the piece of the title Vargas won in his last fight. The AP scored it 119-109 for Pacquiao.
“Not bad,” Mayweather said, giving Pacquiao a thumbs up after the fight.
It was vintage Pacquiao at times, even though he couldn’t stop Vargas like he desperately wanted to. And with Mayweather at ringside it certainly will stir talk of a second fight between the boxers who went at it last year in the richest fight ever.
That, of course, would depend on Mayweather coming out of retirement and Pacquiao being able to fight while still attending to his duties as a senator in the Philippines. Mayweather did not answer questions about a possible return to the ring shouted at him by writers at ringside.
“I invited him to be here tonight,” Pacquiao said, saying “we’ll see” when asked if the two could meet again.
Pacquiao pressed the fight from the opening bell, trying to score a knockdown. He looked as if he would when he caught Vargas with a straight left that put him on the canvas, but Vargas got up quick and fought the distance.
“I feel I could do more but every round I tried to knock him out,” Pacquiao said.
Just before the bell rang to start the fight, Pacquiao smiled and waved a fist at Mayweather. He clearly wanted to impress Mayweather, who won their first fight easily.
But Pacquiao, who has not knocked out an opponent in seven years, wasn’t going to stop the younger Vargas in his hometown. Vargas had difficulty dealing with Pacquiao’s speed, but was more than willing to trade punches to try and lure him into a brawl.