The Dubliner fights experienced Welsh puncher Bradley Pryce [38(20)-20(4)] the vacant super middleweight BUI Celtic Warrior title at the National Stadium on Saturday and believes opponent Bradley Pryce is ideal in more ways than one.
Keeler has openly talked about learning that he isn’t invincible since being stopped by Tom Doran just minutes after it looked like he was going to score a first round stoppage back in April.
As a result he has worked on returning to using his skill set rather than his power to win fights and is confident a motivated Welsh foe with a history of coming forward will allow him to show his boxing ability.
Describing his opponent, Keeler told Irish-Boxing.com that “he is right up there. The only people that beat him are good undefeated lads. He has a few defeats, but again against good lads. He is also undefeated this year I know he is here to try and win.”
“What I worked on since the Doran fight is boxing and that is what I plan on doing. Pryce suits that because he comes to fight. I am not in against a journeyman that is backing away so I will be able to show that bit of class and style I have been in sparring,” Keeler noted before suggesting he would be more than happy with eight rounds against a noteworthy opponent.
“I would be happy to go eight. Experience wise it’s good and for me to have eight rounds against this guy would be good. He has only been stopped a few times and he is tough so I am expecting eight and to have them to look back on is better than blowing him out of there. Although if I catch him clean he will be going.”
Indeed it’s not just the former Commonwealth champion’s style that appeals to the 29 year old Ballyfermot favourite.
Former European and British title challenger Pryce has the kind of record and profile that Keeler is looking for at this stage of his career. The Paschal Collins-trained fighter feels his journeyman journey is done, and wants to establish himself as one of the capital’s best fighters – especially now that Katie Taylor might entice Matchroom and Eddie Hearn to return.
29 year old Keeler emphasised how “I am not here to build up records. I want these type of fights to be honest I turned down a few names I could have blown out, but I am not wasting my time spending two years building records”
“I want to be out [of boxing] in two or three years so this is a fight I need to be getting experience so I can move to that higher level. I have learnt a lot from the Doran fight and I will show that on Saturday and then hopefully get a few more opponents like Pryce or better.”
“Eddie said it was a great fight for me and with Katie signing with Matchroom it’s great news for me. I am hoping it will bring boxing back here and I will be a name recognizable to Sky and I am from Dublin.”
“There is talk of another show in Dublin and if Katie brings Matchroom back I will be ready to fight any of the middleweights out there.”