Luke Keeler certainly isn’t a Eurosceptic.
In the present era the EBU European title, which Bernard Dunne used to secure a WBA world ranking, is generally and frustratingly overlooked with ranking belts favoured.
However, the Ballyfermot middleweight has the prestigious blue belt in his sights and wants to win it before 2017 is out.
In fact ‘Cool Hand’ wants to do it the Bernard Dunne way and develop a home following en-route to continental success. Before ‘The Dublin Destroyer’ defeated Esham Pickering in the old Point Depot back in 2006, he had a few successful National Stadium nights first.
Granted, unlike Dunne, Keeler [11(5)-2(1)] hasn’t got the backing of RTÉ and has more competition for the spotlight than the Neilstown media darling, but the fighter does sense a change in the Dublin tide.
Keeler, who tops Red Corner’s second outing in Dublin on February 25th, claims his headline win over Bradley Pryce last time out represented the start of a new chapter in his career – and possibly a new era for Dublin boxing.
“It was a great occasion and felt like start of something in Dublin and start of me building momentum and a base back home,” Keeler told Irish-Boxing.com while reflecting on his most recent win.
“The fight itself went well considering I was coming back off a lay-off and coming off knockout defeat. I wasn’t near my best, but stuck to my boxing and got a decent win,” he added before looking forward.
“This time I’m going into fight with completely different mentality and I plan on showing new levels compared to last fight step up though the gears. There is definitely a feel of progression and it’s the first time I feel like I have real momentum and a set plan in place for my career. It’s just up to me to deliver now that there is a clear path in place.”
A clear goal in mind, Keeler wants the belt that was twice held by Matthew Macklin and which Steve Collins unsuccessfully challenged Sumbu Kalambay for. “The European title is in my sights,” said Keeler. “I know I’m three or four good learning and ranking fights away from title shot but, by the end of 2017, that’s where I want to be.”
Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo Photography
Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show: