Filipino boxing champion and Senator Manny Pacquiao turned back Jessie Vargas for the WBO welterweight belt with a unanimous decision win at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on Sunday (Manila time).
The 37-year-old boxing icon stepped on the gas early on, scoring a second round knockdown on Vargas before showing his dominance later in the match.
Judge Dave Moretti had a close 114-113 win for Pacquiao, Glenn Trowbridge and Glenn Feldman gave the now three-time WBO champion the better of identical 118-109 scores.
Pacquiao, however, is expected to fly back home immediately to attend the remaining Senate sessions for the year.
Pacquiao’s win became a vindication of sorts after Nonito Donaire lost his WBO junior featherweight belt to Jessie Magdaleno in a co-main event.
Despite a gallant stand from Donaire late in the match, the judges still gave Magdaleno the better of the 116-112, 116-112, and 118-110 as the latter stayed unbeaten after 24 fights.
The other title matches had Oscar Valdez knocking out Hiroshige Ogawa at the 1:50 mark of Round 7 for the WBO featherweight belt and Zou Shiming claiming the then vacant WBO flyweight title with a dominating unanimous decision victory over Prasitsak Phaprom. (Ivan Saldajeno/PNA)