Doors open for Luke Keeler to challenge world champ Demetrius Andrade in December

Luke Keeler [17(5)-2(1)-1] is ready to step straight up to the plate and challenge Demetrius Andrade [28(17)-0] as soon as December.

The WBO world middleweight champion is expected to be out again in December and Matchroom were keen to put him in with WBO#1 Steven Butler.

However, the Canadian has elected to go the WBA route – and will fight their ‘regular’ champion Ryota Murata, a fighter that Jason Quigley previously agreed to fight, in Japan instead.

That leaves ‘Boo Boo’ with an opponent vacancy and Keeler has informed Irish-boxing.com he is more than willing to fill the Butler sized hole.

Eddie Hearn had planned for the American to make the third defense of his title on a Matchroom show on December 13 or on a DAZN broadcast Golden Boy show seven days later.

The Matchroom boss will now be back on the opponent hunt. Following Andrade’s ‘fight the top 10’ remit, while he waits for a shot at Gennady Golovkin or Saul Canelo Alvarez, Hearn will most likely look to the WBO rankings for guidance.

Alantez Fox will believe he is in pole position due to his WBO#2 status, but the two weight world champion already holds a win over 27-year-old ‘SlyAza’. With Matchroom trying to increase Andrade’s profile in a bid to ensure fights with the glamour names in the division, going back to a previously beaten foe may not appeal.

Not to mention it remains unsure as to whether the American is injured or not.

Keeler as WBO#3 would be next in line and is training for a scheduled November fight in Glasgow. His Conor McGregor spat has increased his profile enormously and his name has been linked to the world champions’ since August.

Indeed, it’s believed the pair are close to agreeing terms to fight in New York in March. Ballyfermot middleweight, Keeler has no qualms about pushing that forward and has thrown his hat in the ring for a December tilt.

If Keeler does get the shot he won’t be the only Irish fighter to have secured a massive December 160lbs bout. Rumour has it recent light middleweight world champion Dennis Hogan could fight in a massive clash at a new weight before Christmas.

Hogan could announce a fight with WBC world champion Jermall Charlo early next week and looks set to face ‘The Hit Man’ for his WBC middleweight world title on December 7 at the Barclays Centre, New York.

Keeler versus Hogan in a world title unification clash on St Patricks Weekend has a nice ring to it!

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com 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: [email protected]