Former two-weight world champion Jessie Vargas has hit back at Jeff Horn, adding serious credibility to a bout that was suggested by The Hornet earlier in the week.
Speaking to American journalist Ryan Songalia, the 28-year-old said, "he knows where to find me. I'll gladly take the belt from him."
.@Jessie_vargasJV tells me about possibility of Jeff Horn fight: "He knows where to find me! I'll gladly take the belt from him."— Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) September 7, 2017
Vargas' comments refer to the WBO welterweight belt Horn claimed after scoring a unanimous decision victory over Manny Pacquiao in July.
His response to The Hornet's comments on 7 News give the potential fight far more credibility and means the Australian's next opponent is not a huge step down from Pacquiao, who recently pulled out of a proposed November 12 rematch.
MUNDINE V HORN?: Mundine contacts Horn to organise fight
7 News revealed earlier in the week that Horn was in formal negotiations to fight Vargas at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
The pair are expected to agree to the fight over the next few days. (Watch the full report in the video above)
"I feel like I've got the moves to take Jessie down, he's a former world champion so he'll definitely be a hard fight," 29-year-old Horn told 7 News.
Horn's revelation means a high-profile bout with Anthony Mundine is looking extremely unlikely.
42-year-old Mundine threw his hat in the ring, but the Queensland school teacher's trainer Glenn Rushton instead pin-pointed Vargas for a November title defence.
"Mundine is not the fight that's hot on the radar, but you've got to keep the doors open," Rushton told AAP.
"There are more suitable opponents, but we are not saying no to anything, because Jeff needs to stay active."
Mundine would at least be a crowd puller, given he is still the biggest drawcard on pay-per-view television in Australia.
"Some would love to see him lose, others would hate it," Rushton said of a fight against Mundine.
"He's still got plenty of support, but I'm not sure we're seriously considering it."
Rushton confirmed current world champions Miguel Cotto and Terence Crawford were both unavailable.
"With those guys no chance of fighting this year, like I said we are searching from the top down, and Lamont or Jessie both having held belts are both in our sights," he said.
"We'll let (Horn's promoter) Dean Lonergan talk to them and try to sort something out quickly.
"I want something locked in this week if we can."