College graduate Luke Keeler knows the value of lessons – and wants to put into practice what he learnt from recent his world title fight in a second tilt relatively soon.
Opening up about his unsuccessful WBO middleweight title attempt, Keeler admits it was a disaster, but remains positive and is confident the experience of fighting Demetrius Andrade will stand him in good stead moving forward.
The Ballyfermot favourite revealed things went smoothly in the build up and that camp went as planned. He felt he dealt with the added media attention throughout a Miami fight week fine, but revealed the occasion hit come ring walk time.
The Pete Taylor trained fighter told Irish-boxing.com he felt ‘detached’ en route to the ring – and once he got dropped in the first round was never really in the fight.
“It was just a disaster of a start,” Keeler told Irish-boxing.com when asked for his thoughts on the world title fight.
“I don’t want to be spouting out excuses. I can’t say I had an injury or a camp didn’t go well. Honestly I had a good camp and I felt confident going into the fight.
“There was added media attention with it being a world title fight and the Super Bowl on that week, but I thought I handled that OK. It didn’t phase me, but then walking to the ring I felt, not rabbit in the headlights, but not fully there. It’s hard to explain, but I was a bit detached. I didn’t have that feeling of being in that zone. The best way I can describe it is I felt detached.”
Not fully focused, Keeler got dropped with the first punch of the fight and did well to see the second round.
He points out the two first round knockdowns left him fighting on ‘autopilot’, meaning the game plan went null and void.
“He caught me early, I wasn’t a million percent in there. It was a disaster after the knockdowns. I was on auto pilot then. I still don’t remember much about the fight fight. I was fighting on instinct.” he adds before revealing he was confident of victory heading into the DAZN broadcast bout.
“Maybe it was the occasion or the magnitude of the fight? I am not too sure, but I fully believed I had the beatings of him. I was confident leading up to it. I felt he looked past me and I thought I’d come on strong and win.”
The 33-year-old remains upbeat despite the ‘disaster’. Keeler is confident he will get another shot at the ultimate boxing prize and believes when he does he will be much better eqiupt to succeed.
“I learnt from the whole experience. I never experienced any of that before. It gave confidence. Pete made a good point, it’s like the first time around going to the Olympics. You learn and then are ready for it next time around, your chances of being successful increase.”
Not only does the former Irish champion believe he has the capabilities to win a world title, he believes he will get the opportunity to do so.
The Dubliner has had a clear pathway laid out for him and it’s one he feels capable of navigating.
“First of all I still felt fresh and I feel like I ‘m improving. I still feel I am learning and I’m willing to put in the work. I am happy to give it one more shot. One more go,” he continues before revealing the plan.
“I was meant to fight a warm in June, then I was to fight a top ranked fighter in August and after that a world title shot. That is still the plan, it’s just been delayed.
“What I heard was Andrade was moving up to super middle. Liam Williams and Jaime Mungiua were going to fight for the title and I could get the winner.
“Either fight can be made, things may have changed since, but I just want to get back to that level and use the experience I have gained to win this time.”