Despite being inactive since a split decision loss to Manny Pacquiao two years ago, former WBA Super and WBC welterweight champion Keith Thurman is still angling for a big fight.
Incredibly, the charismatic but bemusingly inactive Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs & 1 NC) has only engaged in four fights in the last six years without ever embracing retirement.
But the Florida fighter has ruled out a clash with rising contender Vergil Ortiz who appears to have a bright future in the ever-competitive 147lbs division.
Texan banger Ortiz (17-0, 17 KOs) recently called out Thurman, but the former champion says he has set his sights higher against the likes of WBC and IBF king Errol Spence, WBO title holder Terence Crawford and old foe Pacquiao.
“I got my eyes geared towards the biggest fights at 147, I would say that [Ortiz] has to climb the ladder a little bit more, but only because he’s gunning after me,” Thurman told Fighthype.
“I’m not gunning after him. I’ve got my gun barrels aimed at different targets, mainly world champions, because I want to get back to the world champion status. I’m glad that he’s got the fire and the passion, and the grit to call me out.
“I’ve seen a little bit on the boy, I can’t speak much, because I haven’t seen much, so I’m not going to go deep into anything there. But he definitely shows potential, lets his hands go. He seems like he’s a power puncher, seems like he can hurt.
“He seems a little wide still, a little open still, but besides that, it’s a good fight. I remember being a young dog. When the young dogs are barking, and they’re hungry, it’s one thing to have a barking dog, but it’s another thing to have a hungry barking dog.
“Let’s just see what happens with the boy and his career. You know with me, if I get the phone call and his name, any name is presented to me, on a list, then that’s the legitimacy of me potentially seeing them in the ring. I’ve only seen this kid in the ring due to the callout. But besides that, I haven’t seen much from this kid.”