Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is back in training looking to come off a long two-year-old layoff against a still to be determined opponent in August or September.
The 32-year-old Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) now finds himself in the position of being an old lion being chased by the younger lions Vergil Ortiz Jr and Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, both of which called him out recently.
Not surprisingly, former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman doesn’t know much of Ennis or Ortiz Jr, and he says he’s not interested in fighting either of them.
Just like when he shot down a call out from Errol Spence Jr earlier in his career, Thurman is making it known that he’s not going to entertain the idea of fighting Ennis (27-0, 25 KOs) or Ortiz Jr (17-0, 17 KOs).
Thurman says he’s gunning for a world title shot against one of the champions at 147. He’s been calling out IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr, and he’s interested in a rematch against Manny Pacquiao.
Neither of those fighters appears remotely interested in fighting Thurman, and it would be smart for him to get a clue and realize that before he invests too much of his valuable time waiting and hoping they’ll throw him a bone.
“One Time’ not interested in Vergil Ortiz Jr fight
“I got my eyes geared towards the biggest fights at 147,” said Keith Thurman to Fighthype when told that Vergil Ortiz Jr wants to fight him.
“I would say that he has to climb the ladder a little bit more, but only because he’s gunning after me.
“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, grit, and passion for calling me out. He definitely shows potential, lets his hands go. He seems like he’s a power puncher, seems like he can hurt.
“He’s 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 [Vergil Ortiz Jr] 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 [Ortiz Jr] in the ring due to the call put. But besides that, I haven’t seen much from this kid,” Thurman said.
It’s too bad Thurman isn’t willing to fight Vergil Ortiz Jr because it might be his quickest way back to a world title fight. Thurman has been out of the ring for two years, and he lost his last fight against 40-year-old Manny Pacquiao.
The inactivity and the loss to Pacquiao have hurt Thurman’s career, which is why he should take a chance by fighting Ortiz Jr to come up a little.
Thurman rejects Jaron Ennis fight
“Like I said, if anything is presented to me, then I’ll look at it,” Thurman said when told that Jaron Ennis has called him out.
“These young bucks have not been presented yet. I still think they’re climbing the ladder. I think they know they belong with the best fighters in the world. They’re starting to build their name and get their recognition.
“The young man that you just mentioned [Jaron Ennis], he might be on Showtime. I’ve never heard of him.
“Lipinets never impressed me,” said Thurman when told that Jaron Ennis recently stopped Sergey Lipinets in the sixth round on April 10th.
It’s hard to take Thurman seriously when he says he’s “never heard” of Jaron Ennis before. Thurman sounds like he’s purposefully disingenuous as a way to avoid another young lion that’s looking to beat him.