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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Manny Pacquiao in negotiations to fight 'number one pound-for-pound boxer Vasyl Lomachenko'

Filipino, 39, has not fought since losing to Jeff Horn in July 2017

Manny Pacquiao has not fought since losing his WBO Welterweight title to Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia, on July 23, 2017. Tertius Pickard / AP Photo
Manny Pacquiao has not fought since losing his WBO Welterweight title to Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia, on July 23, 2017. Tertius Pickard / AP Photo

Philippine boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has revealed his camp are in talks to take on the boxer widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet Vasyl Lomachenko.

In an interview on the Philippines' ABS-CBN television, Pacquiao, 39, a champion in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, said talks were ongoing with the Ukraine's WBO Super featherweight champion.

"There are negotiations now about the number one pound-for-pound [boxer] which is Lomachenko," Pacquiao said.

"There are still talks on the weight, reducing the weight," said Pacquiao, who has been fighting as a welterweight.

While details on a possible match-up remain vague, the news will come as something as a surprise to many boxing fans.

Lomachenko, 29, has taken the professional ranks by storm since leaving the amateur ranks soon after winning Lightweight gold at the 2012 London Olympics. Rated by many as the world's top "pound-for-pound" fighter, Lomachenko, 29, has lost just once in 11 pro bouts - his second contest, against Orlando Salido - and won all the others by knockout. He is known for his excellent hand speed, timing, accuracy, creativity, athleticism, and footwork.

Pacquiao, who holds a record of 59 wins with 38 by way of knockout against seven losses and two draws, is in the twilight of a majestic career that looked to have come to an end after his lost his last bout to Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane last July via unanimous decision, dropping the WBO welterweight title in the process.

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The Filipino southpaw retired briefly in 2016 but made a comeback to retake his WBO title from Jessie Vargas just months later. He has not scored a knockout since a 12th round technical knockout of Miguel Cotto eight years ago.

In contrast Lomachenko cemented his status last year after retaining his WBO Super featherweight title.

Last month, Pacquiao said he was in discussions to fight UFC superstar Conor McGregor in April. However, the Irishman, whose brief foray into boxing last year saw him suffer a 10th round stoppage to Pacquiao's arch nemesis Floyd Mayweather Jr in their much-hyped bout in Las Vegas, has since said he wants to return to mixed martial arts.

On Wednesday, Pacquiao rejected calls for him to retire for good, adding he did not believe his recent losses tarnished his record.

"You know, I miss boxing," Pacquiao said, adding he was "still OK."

Pacquiao, elected a senator in 2016, said he would only train for three months for an April fight so he did not neglect his legislative duties.

"That's more than enough."

Pacquiao said Wednesday he was also open to fighting British boxer Amir Khan but said any fight would have to be done in April when the Philippine Congress would go on break.

Last week, Britain's former welterweight world champion Khan announced he would end a near two-year hiatus from the sport with a bout in Liverpool on April 21 against an unnamed opponent.

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