Talks are well underway for a huge welterweight showdown between IBF champion Kell Brook and Manny Pacquiao, promoter Eddie Hearn has confirmed.
An all-British showdown between Brook and Amir Khan remains one of the most anticipated fights of 2017, with talks between both camps still ongoing. While Khan remains Brook's biggest priority, Hearn is exploring the option of lining up a fight with eight-weight world champion Pacquaio later in the year.
Pacquiao, who came out of retirement in November 2016 after just eight months away from the ring, will defend his WBO crown against Jeff Horn in April. That fight could take place in Horn's homeland Australia or United Arab Emirates, with Bob Arum planning a four-fight farewell world tour for Filipino icon.
The UK could be one of the next destinations, with Brook the opponent. Hearn told Sky Sports: "I have been speaking with Bob Arum about a Kell Brook versus Manny Pacquiao fight. We are ready to go with that right now, but I think they like the idea of fighting Horn first, so we will now try and work for an autumn fight."
Brook has not fought since he was brutally stopped by Gennady Golovkin in September last year and while Khan remains his and Hearn's priority, there is also the small matter of his mandatory IBF title defence to consider. The undefeated Errol Spence Jnr became next in line to fight for Brook's belt after stopping Italy's Leonard Bundu in August, immediately calling out the Sheffield-born fighter after his knockout victory.
"Obviously our priority is the big British fight with Amir and we also have the Errol Spence Jnr fight," Hearn continued. "Either way, Kell's future will be mapped out in the next month."
Brook vs Pacquiao must happen this year if it is to happen at all, however, with the Philippines senator likely to take on Terence Crawford in his last fight in November or December.
Arum told the LA Times: "We plan to have Manny fight four times this year – we have an offer in Russia in July, another offer in Europe for September and in the US Terence Crawford in November or December. That will be Manny's last fight."