Wednesday 19 September 2018

Keeler is on his way back

Matchroom keep faith in middleweight prospect

HIS recovery from injury complete, Luke Keeler (8-1, 5 KOs) is ready to fight again.

Matchroom haven't lost faith in the Ballyfermot middleweight who's regarded as one of the brightest prospects in Irish boxing.

He'll be fighting in Leeds on September 5 on the undercard of the Josh Warrington WBC International title defence against Joel Brunker. And Matchroom have offered him an ongoing promotions deal which is likely to be signed next month.

Keeler's performance in stopping Gary Boulden in the 3 Arena in November impressed Eddie Hearn (inset in middle), who added him to the Prizefighter series in February.

Boulden had taken Billy Joe Saunders the distance and was expected to prove a big test for the Dubliner. A dramatic first round stoppage confirmed Keeler's talent.

However, despite being favourite, he met with disaster in Prizefighter.

"About forty second into round one in the first fight (against Luke Crowcroft), I caught him on the top of the head," recalls Luke.

"I knew immediately I'd damaged my hand. After the fight, we cut the bandage off and re-bandaged it. But maybe we should have left it alone.

"I wasn't able to use the right in the semi-final (with Tom Doran). Even with one good hand, I felt I did well. It was very disappointing."

Handicapped, Keeler lost the semi-final.

"The hand is OK again," he says. "I had five weeks of using it on the bags before getting into five weeks of heaving sparring with Frank Buglioni, ahead of his WBA Intr-Continental title fight in Wembley tonight, and it's been fine.


"The injury may have been a blessing in disguise," he adds.

"I learned more in losing that fight. Since then I've analysed things and have been fine-tuning some of my techniques.

"I needed to settle down and use my jab more and also, regardless of injury, keep my hands tighter.

"Little details I might have neglected if I'd won Prizefighter."

"It was a knock-back," he says. "But it's great to be back in competitive action."


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