Manny Pacquiao has signed a new two-year contact with Bob Arum's promotional team, Top Rank, with a possible fifth fight against Juan Manuel Marquez lined up for the WBO welterweight champion.
There had previously been rumours circulating that Pacquiao would not sign again with Arum's outfit in the hope of securing a crunch showdown with the welterweight king Floyd Mayweather - who fights for Golden Boy, Top Rank's promotional rivals.
However, this news has all but confirmed the disappointing reality that Pacquiao and Mayweather will never get the chance to face-off against each other.
Money has previously indicated that he is not willing to negotiate with Arum. Although, Arum himself has refused to rule it out.
"HBO is willing to do it," he said on Sky Sports. "And you never know, anything can happen in 2016."
The Pacman is set to return to the ring in November, most likely in China, but his new deal will run until December 31, 2016, so who knows what will happen over the next 24 months.
Both he and Mayweather clearly want the fight, boxing fans across the globe want the fight, so it remains possible that the promotional teams could be persuaded into allowing a dream bout between the pair to take place if they put their differences aside.
Although, it looks almost certain that Pacquiao will be facing his Mexican nemesis, Marquez, in a mega-bucks clash in Macau next, which would attract a huge audience.
"We're talking Macau tonight, that's our first choice," Arum said. "But there are other options.
"We'll see what Vegas has to offer and there could be an offer from the mid-ast. But it will probably be Macau."
The Filipino leads the head-to-head with the 40-year-old 2-1 after their first fight finished in a controversial draw, but Marquez inflicted an astonishing knockout when the pair last met.
Since that shocking defeat the Pacman has beaten both Brandon Rios and Timothy Bradley in impressive fashion, showing that he is nowhere near finished, despite the brutal KO.
The 35-year-old has five years on Marquez, who lost to Bradley before beating Mike Alvarado via unanimous decision last time out.
If a fifth instalment is to happen I expect it to be an even better spectacle than their previous contests. Both men have the ability to dazzle and stun their opponent which should make for entertaining and unpredictable viewing once again.
Arum, regarding the new deal, could not hide his happiness at the prospect of promoting Pacquaio fights for another two years and he believes that it is good news for the whole of boxing that the Filipino is prolonging his illustrious career.
"We are pleased that together with our partners at HBO we will continue presenting to the public fights of the great Manny Pacquiao through the end of 2016.
"The partnership among Manny, Top Rank, MP Promotions and HBO has been a wonderful one for all parties and for the public and it's great that it will continue for the years to come."
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