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Vargas, not Crawford

Jessie Vargas has been picked to battle Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 5 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, multiple sources confirmed yesterday.

The Las Vegas Review Journal even reported that “all signs point to Vargas winning the Pacquiao sweepstakes,” while the Los Angeles Times was even more concrete as it quoted Pacquiao business manager Mike Koncz as saying that the eight-division titleholder has selected the Las Vegas-based Vargas.

Top Rank chief Bob Arum is flying to Manila on Sunday to dot the Is and cross the Ts but the Hall of Fame promoter told the Review Journal that reports that the fight is being eyed for Dubai is inaccurate.

Arum insists that the 20,000-capacity Thomas and Mack Center, owned and operated by the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, will host the fight.

Vargas, who has a 27-1 win-loss record with 10 KOs, is the reigning World Boxing Organization welterweight champion.

Pacquiao announced his retirement following his easy win over Tim Bradley last April as he was in the tick of the campaign for a Senate seat.

But just a few weeks ago, Pacquiao hinted that he was going to return to the ring as he already misses the sport.

Pacquiao, however, maintains that the training camp will be held almost entirely in the Philippines and that he won’t take a leave of absence from his Senate duties.

Vargas holds a four-inch advantage over the 5-6 Pacquiao, who has a 58-6-2 slate with 38 KOs.

Pacquiao remains under contract with Top Rank, which has the Filipino ring legend under its promotional banner until the end of the year.