Manny Pacquiao will step back into the ring on Saturday night against Jessie Vargas, but before the main attraction can begin, the two competitors had to step on the scales 24 hours before their showdown in Las Vegas.
Both fighters came in under the 147-pound welterweight limit. Pacquiao tipped the scales at 144.8 pounds, while Vargas weighed in at 146.5 pounds.
GMA News captured an image of both fighters on the stage after they weighed in, with Vargas proudly displaying his WBO welterweight title that will be on the line:
The 37-year-old Pacquiao has talked of ending his career but can't seem to resist the allure of getting back in the ring. He announced his retirement from the sport in April after a victory over Timothy Bradley, but he was careful to mention it may not be permanent.
As Pacquiao explained to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports leading into Saturday's fight, he needs boxing to be part of his life.
“I felt lonely inside because I was no longer active in the sport,” Pacquiao said.
Before the weigh-in, Pacquiao tweeted out an image of himself looking focused and invoking arguably the most famous song ever used in a boxing movie:
While no one will qualify what Pacquiao had as a legitimate retirement—even by boxing standards, seven months is more of a prank than anything else—he has been doing this for over 20 years as a professional and is still performing at a high level.
Looking ahead to the fight, ESPN's Dan Rafael spoke to an opponent both Pacquiao and Vargas have gone up against to get his opinion on what will happen:
Vargas should not be underestimated coming into the bout. He nearly knocked out Bradley in the 12th round of their match in June 2015, though Bradley did control the first 11 rounds to secure an easy unanimous-decision win.
What Vargas does have that can work to his advantage is size and improved power in his right hand. The 27-year-old is nearly five inches taller than Pacquiao, which will seemingly force the challenger to give up any leverage so he can try to attack Vargas' head.
Vargas is not a knockout artist with just 10 finishes out of his 27 victories. He can't match Pacquiao in the speed department, but his best path to victory will be taking advantage of his size and leverage to wear down his opponent before using his right hand to stop the fight in the later rounds.