Pete Taylor backs underrated Luke Keeler to claim shock world title


Pete Taylor is adamant Luke Keeler is ready for a world title fight right now and has warned fight fans not to be shocked if the Ballyfermot man manages to beat one of the reigning champions.

The 32-year-old claimed a world level scalp on the Top Rank card at Féile an Phobail on Saturday.

The Dubliner dropped Luis Arais, whose sole career defeat came at the gloves of Danny Jacobs, twice en route to an impressive points win.

The victory should see the Irish title holder increase his WBO ranking and secure a slot in the WBC top 10.

It should also see him become a viable opponent for some of the top names in a division that boast the likes of WBA-WBC champ Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin who will face Sergey Derevyanchenko for the IBF belt next, WBO titleholder Demetrius Andrade, Jermell Charlo, and more.

There have been suggestions ‘Cool Hand’ may have to secure another major win to convince the big networks to give him the world title nod, particularly in the case of’Canelo’ and ‘GGG’.

However, Taylor argues his charge his not only ready to challenge now, but is ready to defeat one of the 160lbs title holders

“Luke is ready for a world tile now,” Taylor told Irish-Boxing.com immediately afterwards.

Luke Keeler

“Hopefully MTK can get him a world title shot now. Everything they have promised the have delivered so far so hopefully they can get him that next,” he adds before predicting success if the shot is secured.

“Listen, don’t be shocked, Luke can win a world title, honestly don’t be shocked.”

A decisive win over such a noted rival should push Keeler to the top of the Irish middleweight pile.

Indeed, the fighter who up and until a 18 months ago was working a full-time job whilst fighting, undoubtedly produced the Irish performance of the year on Saturday.

Taylor wasn’t surprised. He points out Keeler is vastly underrated in all areas and was delighted to see the middleweight force people to sit up and take note.

“It was brilliant performance. He just stuck to the game plan. I knew he was capable of beating that lad. The game plan revolved around your man having no legs. He just wanted you to come meet him all the time and Luke used the ring.

“People really underestimate Luke’s power and his boxing ability. You can see every fight he is getting better and better. Luke is well able to box.”

Whilst he showed genuine power and flashes of boxing ability, the younger brother of noted amateur footballer Tony, also showed he can take a shot – and that was something Taylor had mixed feelings about post the final bell.

“He showed he has some chin on him tonight too, which your not always happy with him showing. He took some stupid shots, but it was an unbelievable performance. I am delighted for him because he really puts the work in.”

There were some ringside who pointed to a first round knockdown as a negative, claiming it made the 160lbs fighter bomb happy for the next two rounds.

Taylor wasn’t really buying into that.

“It got his confidence up too. When you knock someone down it’s never bad. When he caught him and dropped him he knew he was the same level as your man then. If he had any doubts about it they were gone. It’s an unbelievable performance and I think he showed a lot of people what he is about tonight.”

The respected boxing teacher also suffered his first defeat as a pro coach on the massive bill. Steve Collins Jr suffered BUI Celtic Title reverse after his eight round clash with Belfast’s Padraig McCrory.

The Dubliner performed well despite dropping down to super middleweight and according to Taylor was two rounds up on the scorecards, but was stopped in the last round. Taylor had no issue with the stoppage.

“I am gutted for Stevie Collins, but I have to say the stoppage was right.”

dpg

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