Pascal Collins has been impressed with the changes in Luke Keeler over the last 12 months.
The Celtic Warrior coach was always an advocate of the Dublin middleweight’s talent and power, but has seen him adopt a new attitude toward the fight game and he believes it will make the difference between him becoming a good and great fighter.
‘Cool Hand’, who fights for the vacant WBC International middleweight title in Liverpool on Saturday night, has is carrying more self belief than previous and even more important a real hunger to be the best he can be according to Collins.
“Over the last 12 months I have seen a massive difference in Luke,” Collins told Irish-boxing.com.
“He has always worked hard and turned up at the gym to learn, but I can see a massive difference in him. He has added drive and a self belief. He is starting to take over in the gym a little. He is a good fighter, but he is doing all he can to become a great fighter. Anyone that has seen him around the gym has noticed it he is focused and determined.”
Collins admits Tom Doran a fighter Keeler lost to over three rounds in Prizefighter last year is a step up for the Ballyfermot middleweight.
However, he believes it is the perfect step on the road to bigger things for his charge.
“I watched their first fight from Steven Ormond’s dressing room on close circuit TV because he was fighting Flanagan that night.
“I actually thought Luke won the fight. Three rounds and then rounds is a totally different fight. We were in American recently and he got good sparring out there and how Luke handled himself and performed was all positive.
“I think Doran is a good fighter, but Luke will prove he is a class above him on the night.
“Luke has dynamite in both hands, he is becoming the full package, but we want him to step up one fight at a time. Doran is the level he is at the moment on paper and in terms of experience, not the likes of Eubank and that just yet, but he will take another step toward them on Saturday. I fully expect him to win,” Collins added.
“This is a step up for both fighters. There is a lot at stake and a lot to gain too.”
Keeler will secure a World ranking if he wins on Saturday, but Collins is anything but keen to rush his fighter and is happy for the 28 year old to progress at a steady pace.
“He will become a co feature type fighter if he wins, but we won’t run ahead of ourselves. It takes time to become a good championship fighter. What I believe Eddie Hearn wants to do is to get a couple of Irish guys belts so he can go to Belfast with Burnett and have a strong supporting cast. So I think he is looking to get Luke a title and then maybe Jono Carroll a title so then you can have a stronger card. Maybe we could fight Cummings on a Belfast show.”