By Ronnie Nathanielsz
The brain trust behind eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao - promoter Bob Arum and longtime adviser Michael Koncz - are both on the same page with securing Britain’s Amir Khan for the Fiipino boxing icon’s return to the ring following his disappointing May 2 loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Arum has been in talks with Khan’s handlers, while Koncz and Pacquiao - who met with Khan earlier this year in a London Gym and agreed to fight sometime this year before the lucrative Mayweather fight came along - have indicated a fight against Khan some time in the first quarter of 2016 is likely.
However, Arum has one condition before a deal is done - that Pacquiao gets checked out by the doctor who operated on in his right shoulder on May 7, and gives him the clearance to fight.
Pacquiao himself has made it clear his injury is fully healed even as he continues to play basketball to prove the shoulder is 100%.
According to Koncz, the second choice is IBF champion Kell Brook.
Whoever the opponent is the fight will take place in Las Vegas although Dubai has been mentioned as a possible venue.
Pacquiao and Khan used to train under Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach at his Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles and also in the Philippine summer capital of Baguio City and have even sparred against each other although there is a difference of perception on who got the upper hand, with Roach insisting it was Pacquiao while Khan disputes the claim.