While the Ballyfermot middleweight was never one for public excuses – and indeed hasn’t done much wrong other than being overconfident in his chin and suffering a rush of blood to the head against Tom Doran – privately the Irish champion would note a number of things that he felt prevented him from reaching the level of performance he was capable of.
Despite picking up the Irish title and defeating the likes of Lewis Taylor and Bradley Pryce since his second Doran reverse – the first came in Prizefighter with Keeler nursing a broken hand – the 30-year-old always suggested it was job done rather than big impression made following those wins.
The qualified engineer felt fitting a fight career around a full-time job was one of the main disadvantages he had with regard to his peers and had fought through some shoulder and hand issues.
All the aforementioned have been addressed since the turn of the year and, as a result, the Dubliner believes he has given himself the best platform from which to defeat the WBO middleweight champion on the massive Frampton-Donaire undercard at the SSE Odyssey Arena on Saturday April 21st.
“It’s up to me now, I’m fully committed. I was always working full-time during my pro career – I finished work at Christmas,” Keeler explained to Ringnews24.
“I’m training twice a day and am fully committed. It’s up to me now to showcase what I can do with the commitment behind me.”
“The stage that I’m at and the kind of fighter he is, it’s all set up nicely to show my best,” he added before stressing his desire to impress next weekend.
‘Style’ is something Keeler has brought up more than once in a build up that has been disappointingly tame considering the magnitude and quality of the fight.
The Pete Taylor-trained middleweight like his Tyrone counterpart has been respectful but hasn’t been afraid to point he feels Cummings [13(6)-1(0)-1] will come forward in a manner which suits him down to the ground.
In fact, he goes as far as to suggest it’s perfect opponent and perfect timing in terms of a fight that could see him secure a world ranking.
Keeler outlined how Cummings is “a quality fighter; he’s up there with the best at home. He’s a come forward fighter and I’ve always performed well against guys that come forward, my style always gels.”
“At this stage of my career, he’s the perfect opponent and level for me to progress – I couldn’t pick a better opponent. I’m happy that it’s Cummings and it will be an exciting fight. He’s not shy and can mix it up like myself. I think, on his day, he’s a come forward fighter and I’m delighted with the fight. “
“He’s a come forward kind of fighter but I think I have the better jab and boxing ability to beat him. I’m set up as a puncher and I hit hard and I have an edge on speed. I plan on showcasing those talents and proving that on the night.”
“The fact that I’m training fulltime twice a day now, it’s brought me on and there’s a difference in training than before when I was full-time working night and day.”
“He had a bit more success in the amateurs that made that kind of come forward busy style over three rounds, but it’s a ten round fight. I have experience in ten round fights and I’ve learned from my couple of losses – I’m buzzing for the fight.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)