Manny Pacquiao is on his way back to boxing. Promoter Bob Arum has told ESPN that Pacquiao will once again fight on November 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. No opponent or official network deal has yet been announced.
Pacquiao last fought on April 9, defeating Timothy Bradley in what was billed as Pacquiao's retirement fight, with the budding politician looking to focus on his work as a senator in the Philippines. Pacquiao will continue to serve in that role, however the Senate is on recess at that time, allowing him to fight.
Regarding a possible opponent, Arum mentioned three names: Terence Crawford, Viktor Postol, and Jessie Vargas. Crawford and Postol square off this Saturday night on HBO PPV - this certainly adds an interesting extra dimension to that fight. Arum also stated that he had been in contact with PBC promoter Al Haymon, and was open to Pacquiao working with a Haymon fighter. He reports that the two discussed a Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner fight, but that Broner "priced himself out of the fight." Arum is not interested in PBC fighters Keith Thurman or Danny Garcia as an option.
One note to watch here is the network deal. Pacquiao and Arum are linked to HBO, and obviously his return would be a PPV attraction, but HBO already has a PPV scheduled for November 19 between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward. Two PPVs in two weeks seems unlikely for the company, but so does passing on a Pacquiao fight or moving Kovalev/Ward. Watch how that plays out.
For now, Pacquiao is back. So those of you who had "less than 7 months" in the When Will Pacquiao Return? office betting pool, congratulations - enjoy your winnings. Now we wait to see when that other guy will make his own return.