Cool Edge – Luke Keeler relishing leap in levels

One of the straightest talkers in Irish boxing, Luke Keeler will freely admit that he jumps several levels tonight in Belfast.

The Dublin middleweight takes on Cuban-American Luis Arias in one of the chief support bouts on the big Top Rank Féile an Phobail bill.

Arias has only been defeated by former world champ Danny Jacobs and represents a substabial step-up from Keeler’s last opponent, Conrad Cummings.

The Ballyfermot boxer, however, welcomes this and acknowledges that the rise in levels has lead to a rise in preparations.

Describing it as a ‘fear factor’, Keeler has been driven throughout a perfect camp and outlined how “this level of opponent has given me an extra edge in training.”

“Sometimes you can take your eye off the ball when it’s a lower level opponent, but I’ve been focused completely and you’ll see that.”

“When the level of opponent improves, I’ll improve. Arias has fought at world level, and I know if I can get through this one then there’s big fights after this.”

“This camp has gone perfect. I’ve had some great sparring and I’ve done the weight easier than ever. We’ve been building up to the full time training in the last few camps, and I’m absorbing everything that I learn in the gym.”

Taking to the ring around 9:00pm in front of what will likely be a full house, Keeler will thrive off the atmosphere.

It’s a proposition that the Irishman is savouring and he notes how “I’m living my dream at the moment.”

“Sometimes you can get caught up in the stresses of a fight, but when we take a step back you realise how enjoyable it is. MTK Global have delivered everything promised and more, so now it’s time for me to deliver tonight.”


Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: