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Can’t mess around with Vargas

Freddie Roach is not among those who regard Jessie Vargas as a mere opponent for somebody like Manny Pacquiao.

Vargas is all set to put the World Boxing Organization welterweight crown for the first time against Pacquiao on Nov. 5 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Told that Pacquiao is lucky that he is not up against a marquee name as he is also immersed in attending Senate sessions that sometimes drag close to midnight, Roach insists Vargas is someone not to be messed with.

“They just don’t give away those titles,” said Roach, referring to Vargas as a livewire foe and his being the WBO 147-lb titleholder wasn’t accidental.

“He (Vargas) fought for the title (and won),” added Roach, who has been in Manila the last ten days.

Vargas, 27, is the heavy underdog in the scheduled 12-rounder that Pacquiao is preparing for the last few weeks.

Unlike Pacquiao, who is trying his best to balance his role as a lawmaker and boxer, Vargas has hardly skipped a beat in his preparation for the biggest fight of his career.

Aided by a solid support group headed by chief trainer and striking expert Dewey Cooper, who excelled in MMA, Vargas is neck-deep in training.

Pacquiao, meanwhile, continues to make up for a couple of missed morning workouts and one cancelled training session by excelling his sparring sessions with main sparmate Jose Ramirez and backup Leonardo Doronio.