“I am world level now. Yeah, I am world level now.”
It’s sounds so good Luke Keeler says it twice, but world level is not enough for the Ballyfermot middleweight.
Keeler wants to get his ‘Cool Hands’ on a world title and is now gunning for any of the title holders two of which just happen to be Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Mentioning such names in relation to Keeler would have seemed fanciful over a year and half ago- like a lion and a buffalo they same weight but different animals all together.
However, having defeated Luis Arais in Belfast on Saturday the 32-year-old believes he can now join the top table conversation.
Keeler twice dropped a fighter who stayed on his feet going the distance with former ‘GGG’ and ‘Canelo’ foe, Danny Jacobs in his sole career defeat at the Falls Park.
Such a win should move the Dubliner toward world title contention and he believes the manner of the performance proves he is ready for a world title shot.
“Jacobs couldn’t put a dint in that guy and I hurt him throughout the fight,” he tells Irish-boxing.com
“I’ll take any of them honestly,” he adds before calmly theorizing.
“I go up again in the WBO rankings, I’ll take Arias rankings in the WBC and there is no reason why I can’t have one of those top names and the way I am improving I will go in confident against any of them.”
Being good enough to compete with the higher echelons of a historically glamour division is not the same thing as being able to secure such fights.
However, Keeler seems to have some inside information and confidence MTK can deliver.
He also presents a good argues he will be an option particularly when the big names elect against fighting each other.
“I am with the best team to get me the fights. They spoke about it even before this fight, they spoke about getting me names. The middleweight division has so many big names and there is so much money floating around. It looks like the big name don’t want to fight each other and after that when they start looking for opponents I am one of those names now.”
The world title talk wasn’t delivered with a brash tone. It wasn’t a name association tactic to try and garner as much publicity out of a career best win as possible. It’s plain and simply how Keeler see’s his standing in the current 160lbs division.
Indeed, he was quite calm post the win and nigh on had to be pushed into self praise after a career best win.
“I’m probably a bit hard on myself because I know I can do better, but he was world level and I outclassed him,” he explains before claiming he felt he could have won within the distance.
” I hurt him and only for my hands were very painful I think I could have stopped him. I could have stepped up and stopped him I think.”