Manny Pacquiao will return to boxing to face American Timothy Bradley for a third time after overlooking Amir Khan. The duo will square off on 9 April at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas - the venue of their two previous meetings - in what was initially expected to be the Filipino's final fight.
The clash will represent Pacquiao's first competitive appearance since losing by a unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather last May. The 37-year-old has since undergone shoulder surgery which has delayed his comeback. Bradley claimed a controversial victory in June 2012 before Pacquiao won the rematch less than two years later.
Khan was among the contenders to face Pacquiao - with the pair's personal relationship understood to be potentially key to striking a deal. But Top Rank chief Bob Arum says television company HBO was not keen on a bout featuring the 2004 Olympic silver medallist.
"What [HBO] said was how Amir Khan didn't resonate with them at all," Arum told the Las Vegas Review Journal. "Yeah, he would do some pay-per-view business in England, but they didn't think he was an attraction in the United States."
Arum added to Reuters: "I'm not going to sell it [the fight] as that [Pacquiao's last] because I don't want everybody to say, 'Hey, it's his last fight, come and see it!' and then it turns out that it's not his last fight. Who the hell knows with these guys? They all change their minds so I'm not selling it as his last fight. He says it's his last fight but who the hell knows?"