Luke Keeler believes he could upgrade from the Warehouse at the Red Cow to a venue that was once a storehouse, the 3Arena, if things go to plan.
Keeler fought for the first time since he unsuccessfully challenged for the WBO middleweight world title as far back as 2020 when he went to work on the top of JB Promotion’s premier promotion on Saturday night.
‘Coolhand’ returned with somewhat of a bang, beating up and breaking down a tough Jiri Kroupa to secure a fourth-round stoppage.
Speaking after he shared his delight at being back, he revealed a plan that involves a huge fight with fellow former world title challenger Jason Quigley.
The Ballyfermot fighter wants the final chapter of his career to be special and to play out in Dublin and to end on a high.
The 36-year-old hopes to get another run out early next year, fight for an IBO title in the summer, and go out in a 2024 Christmas cracker with Donegal’s Quigley.
“I think I can gain momentum and start building again. A 3Arena fight can happen next year. Jay Byrne is running shows McElenney Promoitns has big plans as well. I think momentum can build with Irish versus Irish fights, so I think there will be a couple of big nights next year,” he adds before expanding on 3Arena plans.
“It’s possible, there’s been talks and there are a couple of big backers. There could be a couple of big nights next year if the fights line up and I keep doing well.
“I like that IBO belt. I won’t go as far as to say I’d be a world champion but it’s a winnable belt. I’ll target an IBO ranking belt, then the IBO world title say June and with that, we could build to a 3Arena show at the end of next year. Jason is a big name and one that [works for the 3Arena].”
Quigley and Keeler have been linked over the years and the Dublin side of the all-Irish fight has been more and more vocal about wanting to share a ring with his former amateur foe recently.
However, it’s a fight that never really looked like materializing, until now that is. It’s tentative talk but Keeler reveals he has received an expression of interest from the former Golden Boy middleweight’s coach, Andy Lee with regard to a big showdown.
“It’s just about timing. Jason would take that fight but it has to be the right time. I’ve talked to Andy and they’d take it. It’s something that can happen and we can get a good fight out of it. It’s something that could build if and if I can win the IBO belt and defend it against him.”
Keeler was speaking after stopping Kroupa and registering his 19th career win. The Pete Taylor-trained fighter was always expected to beat the Czech fighter but to stop a well-travelled and battled harden fighter in four is a mini statement.
“The jab was working well. I’ve a good jab I used it and held my shape. The plan was to stop him in the fourth. That was the plan going in. He was a tough lad, not many stop him.”