Conor McGregor turns down offer to fight Luke Keeler – ‘Cool Hand’ to focus on world title shot

Luke Keeler [17(5)-2(1)-1] will switch his sole focus to a world title shot he is ‘close to signing’ for after Conor McGregor [0-1(1)] turned down the chance to fight him.

The Irish champion and world level middleweight had offered to put manners on the MMA star after seeing the by-now infamous video of ‘The Notorious’ punching a man in Drimnagh’s Marble Arch pub.

The Ballyfermot fighter then revealed to that two-weight UFC champ had agreed to fight him during a heated phone conversation.

Keeler got his management on the case, but has now informed can reveal his fellow former Crumlin amateur has elected against returning to the boxing ring.

It is understood that contact was made and terms were discussed, but McGregor is no longer interested.

When contacted, Keeler wouldn’t be drawn, stating that he was done ‘wasting time’ with the southpaw.

The Peter Taylor-trained 160lbs fighter revealed he is very close to agreeing a middleweight world title shot and claims all his sole focus now turns to that.

“I am going to focus on my boxing for the next six months and just the boxing,” Keeler told

“I am not going to waste anymore time on him. I am very close to signing for a world title fight and I am going to work and train like it has been officially signed.”

Keeler wouldn’t give details with regard to whom the shot would come against or when it would play out, but in a recent interview did point out ideally he would face WBO titleholder Demetrius Andrade in New York on St Patrick’s Weekend.

Even without those suggestions from the 32-year-old, Andrade would be most people’s first guess when it comes to most likely Keeler world title foes.

The slick American is linked with DAZN and Matchroom, who wanted Keeler on their last St Patrick’s Weekend card, and is the champion in a division the Dubliner has a high ranking in.

Regardless, world honours and not a massively lucrative clash with McGregor is now the only target.

Indeed, Keeler believes the massive MMA name is a long way off returning to the ring and believes the troubled fighter should take time to recalibrate.

Keeler said that”I think he should focus on getting his head right. He has let himself, his family, and his supporters down.”

“I’d say he is a long way from competing and if he is to fight again I hope he works on getting his head back together. He should focus on that and his own family.”


Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: