Headline News

Luke Keeler grabs career-best win over Lewis Taylor in Dublin headline fight

In the fight of the night, headliner Luke Keeler defeated Lewis Taylor at the National Stadium to move a step closer to the European title.

The Ballyfermot middleweight defeated the recent Commonwealth title challenger on points following a back-and-forth contest at the National Stadium on the Red Corner Promotions ‘Unfinished Business’ bill.

Keeler began aggressively, landing the greater number of shots and snapping the head back of Taylor with some straight rights – although a nick to the side of his right eye was some cause for early concern.

A closer second saw the Englishman begin the busier before Keeler enjoyed a stronger second half.

Taylor got himself on top in the third via his very strong jab, which was becoming a potent weapon in the fight.

The Dronefield fighter began to push Keeler back in the fourth as he seemingly began to build up momentum.

Taylor would continue to outwork the Dubliner in the fifth, but a strong final minute from the Dubliner invigorated both the fighter and the crowd.

Keeler seemed to discover his swagger in the sixth, showboating at times, and finding his range with big shots, the right uppercut on the inside in particular.

Taylor roared back at the start of the seventh, targeting the body of the Irishman, and while Keeler did land his fair share, Taylor ensured that the fight still hung in the balance as it entered into the final round.

The former English champion flew out in the final round but Keeler, visibly tired, showed tremendous grit to wrestle back control and land more than enough heavy shots to take the round.

Going to the scorecards following a close encounter, the bout was given to Keeler on a frankly ridiculous scoreline of 80:72, with the home fighter being judged to have won every round. The tally was mightily unfair on the impressive Taylor. By comparison, the Irish-Boxing.com scorecard read 77:75 to Keeler.

The career-best win sees Cool Hand Luke improve to 12(5)-2(1), while Taylor falls to 19(3)-3(0)-1.

The victory will also see Keeler enter the European rankings, with Taylor having been rated at #12. It is the plan of coach Paschal Collins for one more bout before a challenge for the blue belt in September.

Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo Photography

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