The one Luke Keeler always wanted hasn’t turned into the one that got away just yet.
The Ballyfermot middleweight still holds hope of sharing the ring with fellow former world title challenger Jason Quigley.
The pair have been tentatively linked over the years without ever looking likely to fight. More recently ‘Coolhand’ has been vocal about sharing the ring with the Donegal favourite and has called for what he believes would be an era-defining clash.
Indeed, he previously called on the former Golden Boy middle to help him find a definitive answer to the ‘who is the best middleweight of the current era’ question.
Eddie Hearn had also mentioned it as a possible fight for the May 20, Katie Taylor homecoming card but when the fight didn’t materialise for earlier this year most fans felt the Keeler vs Quigley ship had sailed.
However, Keeler hasn’t given up hope.
‘Cool Hand’ returns to the ring for the first time since his WBO world title reverse to Demetrius Andrade on JB Promotions card at the Red Cow this Friday night and sees the all-Irish middleweight clash as one that could happen next year.
“That’s the one I always wanted,” Keeler told Irish-boxing.com.
“There was talk of it for Katie’s undercard but nothing came of it. I don’t know what his plan is, he’s kinda semi-retired like myself, but that’s one I’d love. He beat me in the amateurs. I think it’s one that still generates interest and one that could be made.”
IBO world title hopeful, Keeler is aware a platform and purse worthy of the fight will have to be found and notes a need for a lot of things to fall into place if it is to be made.
“It’s timing, fights and shows. I’m sure he has to be paid and it has to be a decent show.”
Quigley, who runs a show alongside Elite Promotions in Letterkenny next month, was last seen in the ring against future star Edgar Berlanga and Keeler remains aware a similar fight may be offered again.
“It’s just boxing. He could be offered another big fight. It just has to land right, so touch wood.”
Keeler was speaking ahead of his comeback fight which plays out at the Red Cow on Friday. It’s his second attempt to fight this year following the cancelation of a proposed RDS September 16 fight night. The 37-year-old says he wasn’t deterred by September’s bad news but is grateful for the chance to get out before the year is done.
“The comeback was never off,” he assures. “I feel really good and this is another run for me. Thank God Jay pulled out this show because you can get disillusioned, which happens to all the lads. There are a lot of pros in Ireland and they are not getting chances so touch wood we can get momentum.”