MANILA－Philippine boxing idol Manny Pacquiao said a January fight in the US with American Adrien Broner is almost certain, but he dodged the mounting speculation of a possible rematch with rival Floyd Mayweather.
Pacquiao, 39, pumped new life into his storied but slowing ring career in July when he delivered his first knockout in nine years in a bout against Lucas Matthysse of Argentina.
Since then Pacquiao has defied calls to retire and promised to fight again, which has prompted unclear reports about a range of possible contenders.
But at a charity function in Manila this week, Pacquiao told reporters his next opponent will likely be Adrien Broner.
He added that he preferred to face the former four-division world champion on either Jan 12 or 19, "probably" in Las Vegas.
"It is almost final but it is not yet there," Pacquiao said, adding that the match was"90 percent" likely to push through.
Mayweather, 41, said in September he would come out of retirement to face Pacquiao later this year in a rematch of their 2015 superfight that earned both men millions.
However, no concrete plans have emerged since and Mayweather subsequently said he would be back "for a huge boxing event" in Tokyo before fighting Pacquiao.
Asked this week if another bout with Mayweather is in the offing, Pacquiao said "it is not yet finalized".
Ahead of the fight against Matthysse, Pacquiao said he considered himself the "underdog", but he rolled back the years in the bout.
It was a dominant display as Pacquiao registered the 60th win of a glorious career that looks set to extend beyond his 40th birthday in December.
Pacquiao, who is also a senator in the Philippines, lost his World Boxing Organization welterweight title to unfancied Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane last year.