MANILA • Philippine boxing idol Manny Pacquiao said on Wednesday that a January fight in the United States with American Adrien Broner was almost certain, but dodged the mounting speculation of a possible rematch with undefeated rival Floyd Mayweather.
Pacquiao, 39, pumped new life into his storied but slowing boxing career in July when he delivered his first knockout victory in nine years in a bout against Lucas Matthysse of Argentina.
It was his 60th win of a fabled 23-year career that will now almost certainly extend beyond his 40th birthday in December.
Since then, Pacquiao has defied calls to retire and promised to fight again, prompting unclear reports about a range of possible contenders.
The veteran star clarified matters with reporters during a charity function on Wednesday by dropping the name of his next likely opponent: "Broner, Adrien Broner".
He added that he preferred to face the former four-division world champion on either Jan 12 or 19, with the fight "probably" taking place in Las Vegas.
"It is almost final but it is not yet there," Pacquiao said, adding that the match was "90 per cent" likely to push through.
Mayweather, 41, said last month he would come out of retirement to face Pacquiao later this year in a rematch of their 2015 bout 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 any possible fight with Pacquiao.
That bout is shaping up to be against Ultimate Fighting Championship unbeaten lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, if recent comments from both men are anything to go by.
Mayweather said on Wednesday that "on my end we can make (the Khabib fight) happen".
But Pacquiao was tight-lipped when asked if another bout with the American was in the offing, only saying "it is not yet finalised".