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Not being eligible for the belt, the Irishman’s desire for a high-profile fight with Welborn look set to be superseded by the Englishman’s mandatory obligation.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 irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie