The need to reach boxing’s summit is evident for Jaron Ennis. But while he’s effortlessly pushing away welterweight contender after welterweight contender out of his way, he hasn’t quite reached his goals. (photo by Ryan Hafey)

Wins over Thomas Dulorme, Sergey Lipinets, and most recently, Roiman Villa, have been helpful but Ennis has a particular fighter in mind that he would like to face.

Of course, the 26-year-old is hoping to land a showdown against newly undisputed champ Terence Crawford. However, Keith Thurman has always been pertinent to the career of Ennis. The former unified titleholder hasn’t said much as of late but he’s heard Ennis (31-0, 28 KOs) loud and clear. Although he understands the young Philly star has a ton of skills and a growing fanbase, Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) reminded the current IBF interim champ that where he wants to go, he’s been there for several years now.

“He’s still climbing I been up here,” Thurman told Blue Blood Sports TV. “He’s still climbing I been up here.”

While Thurman has remained one of the welterweight division’s elite, it appears only a matter of time before Ennis joins him. The slick switch-hitter has looked practically untouchable, mercilessly stopping normally durable contenders.

His handiwork, while impressive, isn’t striking any fear into the heart of Thurman. Although activity hasn’t exactly been his strong suit as of late, fighting just three times in a six year span, Thurman does remember what it’s like to take the 0 of a hot name from the city of brotherly love.

In March of 2017, the now 33-year-old fought toe-to-toe with Danny Garcia. The former two-division champ from Philadelphia may have turned up his aggression in the later rounds but it was Thurman who eked out the win. From his point of view, facing Ennis is no different. With an undefeated record against Philly fighters, albeit a small sample size, Thurman views a matchup against Ennis as essentially analogous to his showdown vs. Garcia.

“Like I ain’t beat up no Philly boys before, it ain’t nothing new to me.”