Pacquiao dethrones Vargas, claims third WBO welterweight title

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Manny Pacquiao stepped into the boxing ring for the first time as a senator on Sunday.

After 12 rounds of a grueling battle, Pacquiao proved that he can in fact juggle two jobs at the same time.

The eight division world boxing champion scored a unanimous decision victory (114-113, 118-109, 118-109) over Jessie Vargas to claim the WBO welterweight title at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Pacquiao sent Vargas to the canvas at the second round — the first time Vargas had been knocked down in a professional bout.

Pacquiao, elected by more than 16 million Filipinos in the May polls, had to balance his training for the Vargas fight while attending Senate sessions.

Vargas was imposing his will given that he has a more superior reach, but Pacquiao was also fluid with his combination punches at the middle rounds.

"I feel happy," Pacquiao said after the match.

The victory allowed him to claim his third WBO welterweight title.

He previously announced his retirement from the sport following his April 9 unanimous decision victory over Tim Bradley. Pacquiao decided to fight again, claiming boxing is his passion while promising that the sport won't interfere with his legislative duties.

It was a slugfest at the eighth round as both fighters engaged and blood started to flow from Vargas' right eye.

"I'm very careful to go inside because I know he's going to counter me. My aim every round is to knock him out," Pacquiao said.

Vargas knew that he was trailing in terms of points so he tried to engage Pacquiao but the Filipino proved to be the better boxer.

It was only the second defeat for Vargas who had won 10 of his last fights via stoppage or knockout.

Asked on who he wants to fight next, Pacquiao replied, "Anybody at 147."

In a statement released by the Office of the Communications Secretary, the government congratulated Pacquiao's victory.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Manny Pacquiao stepped into the boxing ring for the first time as a senator on Sunday."Once again, Manny’s triumph united and brought joy to our people and our nation."