Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring in 2018, sources with knowledge of the situation tell FightNights.com.
Although the 38-year-old Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KO's), lost his welterweight world title in a controversial upset against Australia's Jeff Horn in Brisbane when he last fought in July, the Filipino superstar is expected to fight again in April in Macau, China.
However, it will not be against UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor.
Pacquiao, boxing's only eight-division titleholder, also announced Wednesday that he was promoted to the rank of full Colonel in the Philippines Army.
A rematch between Pacquiao and Horn was initially slated for Nov. 12 at Suncorp Stadium but was forced to withdraw as a result of his senatorial duties.
Instead, Horn will defend his world title against the little known Gary Corcoran on Dec. 13 and could take on one of the top pound-for-pound boxers in the sport, Terence Crawford, in March.
Crawford (32-0, 23 KO's), 30, has won world titles in two different weight classes and is moving up to 147-pounds. In August, he knocked out Julius Indongo with a lethal left-hand to the body in the third round, becoming just the third fighter of the four-belt era to unify all of the titles.
Crawford has for years tried to get a fight with Pacquiao but has been unsuccessful.
Negotiations for Pacquiao's upcoming opponent are ongoing.