Philippine boxing great Manny Pacquiao is in the “final stages” of talks for a bout against American star Mikey Garcia, an aide to the Filipino fighter said Thursday.
The date and venue for a Pacquiao-Garcia match-up could be announced as early as next week, Jayke Joson, special assistant to the former eight-weight world champion, told AFP.
Local media reports said a July fight in Dubai was on the cards.
Pacquiao, 42, has not fought since claiming the World Boxing Association’s welterweight “super” world title with a stunning victory over Keith Thurman in Las Vegas in July 2019.
Former four-division world champion Garcia, who is nine years younger, has also been idle since early 2020 when he beat Jessie Vargas on points.
Pacquiao, an elected senator in his country, said last year he wanted to fight Irish mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor in 2021, but the talks went nowhere.
Garcia, beaten only once and with 30 of his 40 professional wins ending in knockouts, would pose a formidable challenge to Pacquiao, who has a 62-7 win-loss record with two draws over a 26-year boxing career.
A return to the ring would give Pacquiao the chance for another lucrative payday as he nears the end of an illustrious boxing career.