Manny Pacquiao's ring return will take place on Nov. 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com.
Arum initially was planning for Pacquiao's return on Oct. 15, but that was ruled out because it conflicted with obligations Pacquiao has in the senate in the Philippines. He was elected to a six-year term in the government body in May, a few weeks after he outpointed Timothy Bradley Jr. in their third fight on April 9 in Las Vegas, after which he announced his retirement.
Few believed the retirement would stick. Arum and Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz said he decided to return, but only as long as he did not have to compromise his senate schedule in order to train.
Arum said the senate will be in recess in the weeks leading up to Nov. 5. Before that, however, Arum said Pacquiao would handle his senate duties by day and train by night.
Arum had narrowed down the return date to Oct. 29 or Nov. 5, dates that worked much better in conjunction with Pacquiao's senate schedule. But Arum said he was struggling to find an available venue in Las Vegas, where he wanted to stage the bout against an undetermined opponent.
Arum said MGM officials tried to clear other events from their facilities -- the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Mandalay Bay Events Center and the T-Mobile Arena -- but were not able to. But he said he had success with officials at the Thomas & Mack Center, which he said was able to move a UNLV exhibition basketball game to another date.
"I couldn't get a building, but we were finally able to secure Thomas & Mack Center," Arum said. "So I am doing the fight with my friend Steve Wynn [whose Wynn Resorts will serve as the host casino]. MGM really wanted to do the fight but they didn't have a building. They did everything they could to free up a place for us but Nov. 5 didn't work, but that is what worked for Manny.
"We are going to film Manny -- if we can get into the senate -- working as a senator during the day and then training at night. We'll have a camera crew over in the Philippines. But then he will finish with the budget votes he has to work on around Oct. 15 and he will come to Los Angeles with [trainer] Freddie [Roach] and finish training."
Arum said the 37-year-old Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs), boxing's only eight-division titleholder, would fight on HBO PPV, but that has not been confirmed by the network.
HBO PPV is committed to a much-anticipated fight on Nov. 19 at the T-Mobile Arena pitting unified light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev and former super middleweight champion Andre Ward in a showdown of undefeated top 5 pound-for-pound fighters in their prime. It would be highly unusual for HBO PPV to put on two major boxing events in the same month, so it's possible Arum could again have to shift dates or perhaps go it alone without HBO's involvement.
As for who Pacquiao will face, Arum said he has narrowed it down to three fighters he promotes -- welterweight titleholder Jessie Vargas, Terence Crawford, should he defeat Viktor Postol in their unification fight on Saturday (HBO PPV) at the MGM Grand, or Postol, whom Arum said was more of a long shot to get Pacquiao should he defeat Crawford.
Arum said he and longtime adversary Al Haymon, the powerful adviser/manager and creator of Premier Boxing Champions, can do business together now that their $100 million lawsuit has been settled. Arum said they talked about matching Pacquiao with one of his fighters, former four-division titlist Adrien Broner, but Broner priced himself out of the fight. Broner also wound up going to jail for 30 days on Tuesday and still faces a trial on felony assault charges stemming from a January incident.
Arum said he and Haymon never seriously discussed matches between Pacquiao and Haymon's two other two top welterweights, world titleholders Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman.
"Besides, if it comes down to Danny Garcia or Terence Crawford or Jessie Vargas against Pacquiao, I'd rather see one of my guys in the fight."