The longer Manny Pacquiao delays confirming his next opponent – and he is now talking about an announcement in late December – the more the boxing undergrowth stirs with murmurs of a rematch with Floyd Mayweather.
For Amir Khan, the wait goes on.
Khan sent his written acceptance of Pacquiao’s terms to promoter Bob Arum 10 days ago and has been expecting a contract in return.
Khan has not signed a final contract, even though that was the agitated claim of a couple of my fellow hacks in America who believe they have a divine right to be first with every story, rarely though they get one.
For their information Shah Khan, Amir’s father and mentor, now says: ‘The story was correct and we are awaiting receipt of the contract.’
The Khans recognise that Arum may also have talked turkey with a couple of his in-house fighters at Top Rank promotions – rising starlet Terence Crawford and Tim Bradley, who has re-established himself after comprehensively losing a rematch of his own with Pacquiao after being given a dubious decision first time out.
But they did not envisage the PacMan keeping them waiting until Christmas.
Now, in addition to Arum dispatching to Pacquiao tapes of Khan and Crawford in action and of Bradley’s weekend knockout of Brandon Rios, there is a nagging suspicion that the PacMan may be giving Mayweather a respectable time frame in which to perform another U-turn out of retirement.
Even as Bradley was staking his claim on Saturday in Las Vegas, Pacquiao was attending a charity event in Abu Dhabi where he insisted that he is in negotiation with Mayweather and told CNN: ‘It’s very much possible. I would love a re-match if he wants it. Of course we hear from him very often that he has retired but that’s not new from him.’
Then he added that he hoped to announce his opponent for what could be his own farewell fight ‘late next month’.
While that may be frustrating for the candidates bidding to occupy the opposite corner to Pacquaio in the spring, the timing could not better for the British author of the first biography of Mayweather’s life to be published.

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