Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford in discussions over Abu Dhabi fight in June - report

Filipino had stated in February that “big news is coming soon”

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Filipino star Manny Pacquiao and welterweight champion Terence Crawford are in talks over a fight in Abu Dhabi on June 5, The Athletic reported.

The report stated that "Top Rank has informed its network partner, ESPN, and pay-per-view distributor In Demand to hold June 5 for the potential fight it's exploring between Pacquiao and Crawford".

It added that "the structure of the deal is contingent on the fight taking place in Abu Dhabi".

The report comes after Pacquiao had started training in February ahead of his return to the ring, with the Filipino teasing that “big news is coming soon”.

The eight-division world champion, 42, has not fought in almost two years, when he defeated the previously unbeaten Keith Thurman on points in July 2019.

Pacquiao had been linked with a bout against IBF title-holder Errol Spence Jr, and even a crossover fight with UFC star Conor McGregor.

A sitting senator in the Philippines, Pacquiao had targeted a busy 2020 in boxing, but the coronavirus pandemic derailed those plans. He has since said he would look to fight twice this year, which would extend his professional CV to 73 professional bouts.

His split-decision victory against Thurman took his record to 62-7-2, with 39 wins coming via knockout.