British champion off the agenda but Luke Keeler still eyeing a big December dust-up

Luke Keeler [15(5)-2(1)-1] is resigned to having to wait before facing the British champion and is instead focusing on a different big fight in December.

The Dubliner had hoped to face the winner of last Saturday’s British middleweight title rematch between Jason Welborn and Tommy Langford in Birmingham.

Welborn [24(7)-6(3)] would drop Langford twice and hold off a spirited fightback from his local rival to retain the belt but a clash with Keeler does not look likely in the immediate future.

Not being eligible for the belt, the Irishman’s desire for a high-profile fight with Welborn look set to be superseded by the Englishman’s mandatory obligation.

Mark Heffron [20(16)-0], the Oldham prospect of Kildare heritage, is mandatory for the Lonsdale belt and purse bids for this match-up are due this coming Wednesday with the bout needing to take place by the end of the year.

Speaking as a guest on the Boxing Asylum last night, Keeler explained how the Welborn match-up is “a fight that I’ve asked for but I’ve seen on Twitter today Mark Heffron saying ‘see you in December’.”

“He [Heffron] is the mandatory so he’ll be next for Welborn. It’s a fight, the winner of those, that I’ll be looking at in future. I wouldn’t write Welborn off against Heffron, he seems to be having a bit of a resurgence.”

“I just caught the last couple of rounds [of Welborn v Langford II], any guy that comes forward with that kind of style suits my type of boxing.”

Detailing his own plans, the Pete Taylor-trained fighter revealed that he is preparing for a fight in December, possibly on the Josh Warrington v Carl Frampton undercard.

Keeler outlined how “the team are working on a big fight for me before Christmas, I’m just waiting on a date and ticking over.”

“I reckon it will be December for myself so I’ll have a good 14-week camp. We’re looking at a big fight.”

Following a WBO European title win against Conrad Cummings in April, Keeler is now ranked #13 with the organisation and the Ballyfermot boxer is fully aware that things can move quickly in boxing.

The 31-year-old reasoned how “I think – a big fight in December then, in 2019, anything can happen.”

“You see Jono Carroll there, all of a sudden he signs with Matchroom, has a World title eliminator against a guy that he’s going to beat, then he fights for a world title.”

“”That’s all within a few phone call behind the scenes, back and forth, and you’re on the cusp of a world title. That’s the level I’m at as well. I know that a good win in December and I’m not far off that level.”

Listen to this week’s edition of the Boxing Asylum Nuthouse Podcast in full below:


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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on, Boxing News,, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: