There was good and somewhat bad news for Luke Keeler [16(5)2-1] fans this afternoon.
The good news, the Ballyfermot middleweight has been handed the kind of step up fight he has craved and been given the chance to impress on massive platform this Summer.
The Bad? That step up won’t be against respected battler and well known name Gabe Rosado.
News broke last week that a Dublin Philly battle might be on the cards for August 3 and the Feile. Indeed, both fighters talked positively about a potential match up.
Keeler claimed he had accepted the fight and agreed the terms put to him. A win over 33-year-old Rosado, live on ESPN+ on a Top Rank card, would certainly build his profile and notoriety and as a result he was never going to say no.
The fight hasn’t materialized, but Keeler is still on the card and still in a tough fight.
While he may not provide the 32-year-old to take two massive strides forward American Luis Arias [18(9)1-1] is positive progression for the WBO European ranking title holder.
Indeed, whilst he may not have the profile of Rosado he may be deemed a tougher test.
Arias sole defeat comes against former middleweight world champion Danny Jacobs and he drew with Rosado last year.
The American also has decent amateur pedigree winning a World Youth Championship medal and twice been crowned American amateur champion.
‘Cool Hand’ was last seen defeating Conrad Cummings at Ulster Hall and now returns to Belfast and the spotlight with a fight that could see him establish himself as a genuine middleweight contender.
The announcement comes on the same day as Diego Alberto Ruiz was confirmed as Michael Conlan’s opponent.
Already confirmed for the card alongside Conlan vs. Ruiz and Keeler vs. Arias is another huge collision between middleweights Alfredo Meli and Araik Marutjan plus the likes of Paddy Barnes, Sean McComb, Padraig McCrory, Callum Bradley, Seanie Duffy and Dee Sullivan will all appear.