Rising Australian boxing star Tim Tszyu wants to focus on fighters rated above him, but a bout with compatriot Jeff Horn appears a long shot.
Tszyu extended his professional record to 14-0 (10 KOs) with a unanimous points win over fellow welterweight Dwight Ritchie on Wednesday to receive a ratings boost with the International Boxing Federation.
Sydneysider Tszyu was ranked 12th with the IBF before beating Ritchie and he could potentially climb into the top-five.
Tszyu wants to stay active and fight four to five times a year so he plans to be back in the ring before the end of 2019.
"Now I just want world ranked fighters," he said.
"Anyone that is in a higher position than me. I'm not looking at backward steps, just upward steps."
It remains to be seen whether his management team want him to aim that high at this stage, but Tszyu stressed Horn was the only Australian boxer he has an interest in fighting.
But Horn, a ringside commentator for Tszyu's latest win, is more focused on challenging Japan's WBA middleweight champion Ryota Murata.
The No.3-ranked Horn, who fights Victorian Michael Zerafa in Bendigo on August 31, hopes to have a crack at Murata by early next year rather than consider Tszyu.
"Is it a fight I'm actually looking for? No, because I'm looking for these world title fights," Horn said.
"I felt super strong when I fought (Anthony) Mundine at 71 kilos and I feel super strong now fighting at 72.5 so I don't need to drop down to that weight division (super welterweight) at the moment."
He said Tszyu fought well but should have stopped Ritchie after the Victorian suffered a cut near his left eye in just the third round.
Tszyu was taken the distance for a second straight fight but he believes he can still develop the fearsome punching power possessed by his father Kostya, the former undisputed junior welterweight world champion.
Asked what he needed to go to the next level, Tszyu conceded: "Everything, I need my opponents to drop from one shot."
However, he was still tracking to becomes Australian's next major boxing star.
"There's a bit of a gap and I think I've got what it takes to take that to the next level," he said.
Australian Associated Press