Bob Arum says Manny Pacquaio is set to push on with a fight in the Middle East once the Filipino is fully recovered from the shoulder injury cited for his defeat against Floyd Mayweather.
As a high-profile encounter against Amir Khan gains support from the boxing world, Arum says the Briton could well be in the opposite corner for what would be an eagerly-anticipated comeback outing.
“Manny’s not going to fight this year,” Arum told The Telegraph. “He’ll fight early next year and probably in the Middle East. Vegas is a possibility, but more likely in the Middle East. It won’t be in Dubai but it will be in the Middle East. If not, we’ll do it in Vegas.
“There’s two different groups in the Middle East (that are interested). I’d like to do Pacquiao against Amir Khan but they’ll take Manny against any decent guy.”
Arum also revealed his pleasure at the current fitness of his star fighter, by adding: “He seems like he’s fine, though, physically. The doctor here was amazed when he saw pictures of his movement and everything.
“The doctor says he’s got to see it himself. Manny is promising to come here at the end of August. There’s no question he’ll fight again.”
Khan, 28, may well put off a planned November or December fight to focus on a potential spring encounter with his former training partner – as February or March are said to be real possibilities for Pacquiao to finally get back in the ring.