TRUE to his ring moniker ‘Cool Hand’ Luke Keeler is keeping it cool.
Fresh off an impressive knock win that pushed his record to 5-0 the Dublin middleweight has secured a first title fight and even more impressively will headline his first show.
However, whilst excitement builds among boxing fans and the wider fight fraternity about the 27 year old’s career,, Keeler is as ever calm and is taking the step up the ladder in his stride.
For the Celtic Warrior Gym fighter this is just another move in the right direction and, another slight arch around the learning curve.
Keeler is happy to be fighting for the Celtic Title on the top of what looks like an August Dublin hosted night of boxing, but he believes if he does things right there are far greater nights in store.
“Its a great boost being made top of the bill and gives added pressure and incentive to kill myself in training in order to put on a great show!” Keeler told Irish-boxing.com.
“It’s another step forward. As I said before it will take another couple years of climbing ladder and learning my trade. I am really enjoying my apprenticeship under Pascal (Collins). I am excited about possibilities of how far i can go. I couldn’t ask for better team and support in Celtic Warrior Gym. I am overwhelmed by all support that are getting behind me looking for tickets, so hopefully momentum keeps building and with other Dublin lads doing well we can bring regular shows back to the City.” .
The Ballyfermot native has developed a solid and core fan base since turning over back in May of last year and he believes they have proved nigh on as integral as his right hand when it comes to his career progression. Indeed, he claims their Keeler keenness is one of the main reasons he is topping a rare Dublin fight card.
“In all honesty a lot of this is down to the support. They have made this possible. I sold close to 400 tickets for last fight in Dublin in the Stadium and I was made co-feature on the night. I am thankful for their continued support and I look forward to stepping up each fight and giving them value for money. Honestly without them this simply wouldn’t be possible.”
That blue t-shirt wearing support might be visible at more shows and bigger fight nights over the coming year as the prospect reveals he is only a clearly sign posted path.
“This title fight is evidence I am moving in right direction and have couple fights in pipeline after this one. It is great for the head knowing I will be kept busy and I have a clear path ahead. That leaves me free to just concentrate on training.”.
Keeler goes into a Celtic Nations title fight -which makes him eligible to fight for the Irish title- against a yet to be named opponent on the back of an eye catching knock out victory over the durable Festim Lama. However, rather than over celebrate the stock raising stoppage Keeler prefers to work on the deficiencies he showed on his Belfast debut. For once in his career the middleweight ranked 6 by the Boxing Union of Ireland failed to remain calm and claims it affected his display.
“I was delighted with the finish in my last fight, but I could have finished him off a lot quicker and made it easier for myself. I got rush of blood with crowd and forced the pace looking for knockout. I know I just have to relax and preform the same way I do in sparring and finishes will come. As soon as I relaxed after couple rounds I was able to get him out of there. I’ve six weeks to iron out faults like that and I cant wait to show improvements in August.”.