MANNY Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum has delivered another huge twist in the Floyd-Mayweather-Conor McGregor saga, offering his champion up as a potential replacement.
Arum has said publicly Pacquiao would be available to fight McGregor after his world title fight with Aussie Jeff Horn at Suncorp Stadium on July 2 - a fight some consider Australia's biggest ever boxing match.
After that, Pacquiao's schedule is free.
Arum told TMZ that McGregor should consider Pacquiao as an option if negotiations fall apart with Mayweather's representatives.
"Pacquiao has a really tough fight against this guy in Australia, Jeff Horn," Arum said.
"After that fight on July first here in the United States, after that fight, if McGregor is still looking for an opponent, Manny Pacquiao is there."
The salacious offer is sure to create waves in the UFC and boxing after it was announced on May 18 that the UFC had come to terms with McGregor to allow the star to take part in a boxing match.
"The McGregor side is done, I'm starting to work on the Mayweather side now," UFC boss Dana White revealed when speaking to TNT.
"I'm not saying the fight will happen, but I got one side done, now it's time to work on the other.
"If we can come to a deal with [Al] Haymon and [Floyd] Mayweather, the fight's going to happen."
McGregor also confirmed he had signed a "record breaking deal" to allow him to make the move to boxing.
"It is an honour to sign this record breaking deal alongside my partners Zuffa LLC, The Ultimate Fighting Championship and Paradigm Sports Management," McGregor said.
"The first, and most important part of this historic contract has now officially been signed off on. Congratulations to all parties involved. We now await Al Haymon and his boxer's signature in the coming days."
The current date for the proposed super fight is September 16, with the bout taking place in Las Vegas, although White seemed hesitant to stick with that timeline considering the recently announced bout between Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin on the same day.
Still, it's hard to believe if McGregor v Mayweather is completed in the near future that the fight pitting the UFC's biggest star against arguably one of the greatest boxers of all time would trump any other event on that day - even Canelo v Golovkin.
Despite Arum and Pacquiao needing negotiations to stall between Mayweather and McGregor for them to jump-in, the veteran promoter was happy to offer some advice to White in his dealings with Mayweather.
Mayweather and Arum famously had a falling out in 2007, resulting in Mayweather starting up his own promotions company.
"Be patient," Arum said.
"Don't give in. Dana is a good negotiator and he'll get the thing done, but he can't get pushed around by Mayweather and his people."
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