Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao announced a fight in the United States with American Adrien Broner in January is almost certain. However, he dodged the speculation of a possible rematch with Floyd Mayweather in spite of the latter’s previous statement that the bout with the Filipino senator would take place this year.
Pacquiao, 39, pumped new life into his boxing career when he delivered his first knockout in 9 years in a much-publicised bout against Lucas Matthysse of Argentina.
Since then Pacquiao has defied calls to retire and promised to fight again. His intention to return to the ring has prompted unclear reports about a range of possible contenders.
But at a charity function in Manila, Pacquiao told reporters, “Broner, Adrien Broner.”
He added that he preferred to face the former four-division world champion on either January 12 or 19, “probably” in Las Vegas.
“It is almost final, but it is not yet there,” Pacquiao said, adding that the match was “90%” likely to push through.
Mayweather, 41, said in September he would come out of retirement to face Pacquiao later this year in a rematch of their 2015 superfight that earned both men millions.
However, no concrete plans have emerged for that contest and Mayweather subsequently said he would be back “for a huge boxing event” in Tokyo before fighting Pacquiao.
Asked at the charity event if another bout with Mayweather would ever happen, Pacquiao said “it is not yet finalized.”
Ahead of the fight against Matthysse, Pacquiao said he considered himself the “underdog,” but he rolled back the years in the July bout.
It was a dominant display as Pacquiao registered the 60th win of a fabled 23-year career that is now nearly sure to extend beyond his 40th birthday in December.
Pacquiao, who is also a senator in the Philippines, lost his World Boxing Organization welterweight title to unfancied Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane last year. ━ (SOURCE: Rappler.com)