The IBO is the way to go for Luke Keeler.
The Ballyfermot native ends an almost-four-year sabbatical from the ring when trades leather on ‘The Begining Card’ on November 3rd.
The fight represents ‘another run at it’ for the former WBO world title challenger and he plans to sprint toward an IBO shot.
The Pete Taylor-trained Dub wants to win a title that has given massive nights and added significant credence to the careers of Anthony Cacace, Padraig McCrory and Dennis Hogan, boxers, who like Keeler, haven’t always had the luxury of smooth paths.
“I like that IBO belt,” he tells Irish-boxing.com.
“I’m not getting ahead of myself and saying I’ll be world champion but that belt is getting more recognized – and it’s one that can be made.”
‘Cool Hand’ doesn’t just want an IBO shot, he believes a tilt is very attainable. Indeed, it appears he has received positive feedback via two promoters who have enquired about putting him in with reigning champion Etinosa Oliha of Italy.
“Jay [Byrne] was taking about it and McElenney Promotions are planning on going again, he was saying he’d like to it. So I think that is the way. Hopefully, we can get it for Dublin.”
There was talk about a possible IBO fight with Connor Coyle, indeed Jamie Conlan wanted to make the fight for Belfast on December 2nd.
However, that’s not a fight that is likely to happen in the near future and Keeler doesn’t believe he needs the Derry man to get his tilt.
“I don’t think [I need Conor Coyle] but it needs a good name to sell,” he adds.
“They were talking about Conor Coyle but he had different plans so that looks gone. I just want to get this one out of the way, then maybe have an eight-rounder. Because I was out so long it will take a bit of time before big fights.”
Keeler fights for the first time since his WBO world title reverse to Demetrius Andrade against Jiri KroupaI on Friday and returns feeling fresh and invigorated.
“I genuinely feel good and feel I could be better than I was. I knew I wouldn’t know until I came back training but genuinely I feel fresh. I’m excited.”