LONDON • Amir Khan will not box again this year as he closes in on a bout against Manny Pacquiao.
Talks are said to be at an advanced stage for a contest between the pair. It could take place in Las Vegas despite rumours that Dubai could get the nod.
Two dates are said to be under consideration - the final weekend in February and the first weekend of April.
Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum said he is in negotiations with the Khan camp.
"We are planning for Manny Pacquiao to fight at the end of February or, at the latest, the first two weeks in April," Arum told the Telegraph.
"March is out of the question because of a big college basketball tournament in the United States. That gets all the ink at the time.
"I'm in the process of having negotiations with Amir Khan's uncle and his lawyer, Robert Davis, and those negotiations are ongoing.
"I know there was a report that Khan was coming here (to the US) to make a deal with Ruslan Provodnikov but he assured me that was not the case."
Arum added that Khan is currently the only opponent for Pacquiao that he is considering.
"I don't negotiate with two people at the same time," Arum said.
"I think that's unethical.
"I'm in the process of negotiating for an Amir Khan fight against Manny Pacquiao.
"I'm not saying necessarily that the negotiations will be successful although I believe that everybody is negotiating in good faith."
"While those negotiations are going on, I'm not going to discuss any other opponent for Manny Pacquiao. There is a possibility that it could happen in Dubai but I think it's more likely it will happen in Las Vegas," he noted.
Pacquiao, the multiple world champion from the Philippines, became Khan's biggest target after he gave up on the chances of getting a bout against Floyd Mayweather.
The latter announced his retirement after beating Andre Berto a fortnight ago.
Most expect Mayweather, who has retired before, to return to the ring next year in search of his 50th win. But Khan, a former World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation light-welterweight champion, has given up hopes of facing him.
He had been let down in May last year and again this year when he believed he was the front-runner to take on the American.
A Pacquiao bout would be substantial compensation, though.
The Filipino has been comfortably the second biggest star in the sport for the past decade, winning eight world titles between flyweight and light-middleweight.
Pacquiao underwent shoulder surgery after losing to Mayweather in May.
The operation was said to be a success and he has shown no signs of wanting to retire.
Khan has been absent from the ring since May when he defeated Chris Algieri on points to retain his WBC Silver Welterweight title.
THE TIMES, LONDON