Luke Keeler keen on return to the 3Arena

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Luke Keeler [12(5)-2(1)] was offered the chance to fight for the Irish title live on Sky Sports, but the Dublin middleweight wanted to instead stay loyal to his local fanbase and the promotional outfit that had helped him rebuild from a knockout loss.

Indeed the 30 year old is confident that he will end up back in the big arenas very soon with either, or both, Matchroom or Red Corner.

Keeler caught the eye of Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn following his knockout of Gary Boulden in November 2014. This secured him a spot in Prizefighter the following February and, even though he was eliminated in the semi finals, Keeler would continue to appear on Matchroom cards.

This culminated in a WBC International title fight with Prizefighter defeater Tom Doran last April. The pair traded knockdowns before Keeler was stopped in the second in an amazing fight.

Since the loss, Keeler scored two notable wins over British names Bradley Pryce and Lewis Taylor on the first two Red Corner cards. ‘Cool Hand’ headlines his third card with the young outfit on Saturday, facing Darren Cruise for the Irish title.

There were suggestions though that the title fight may have ended up on the Ryan Burnett v Lee Haskins undercard in Belfast earlier this month, however Keeler was keen to stay loyal to Red Corner.

“The lads [Red Corner] have done well and have gotten me fights and I accepted this one,” Keeler stated.

“You can’t just jump ship because someone offers more money. The lads have done a good job.”

That said, the link with Matchroom remains, and the Ballyfermot boxer is hopes to feature on any Katie Taylor homecoming card at the 3Arena – while also suggesting that Red Corner themselves are on course to move from mid-level to big time boxing.

“Matchroom are coming back in November and I am looking with one eye toward that,” he added.

“The idea is to impress and move in that direction. Everything is building each time in Dublin and everything is getting bigger.”

The card on Saturday also features an Irish light heavyweight title fight between Stevie Collins and Paddy McDonagh, as well as appearances from Chris Blaney, Ray Moylette, Allan Phelan, Victor Rabei,, Thomas Finnegan, and Craig O’Brien.

Tickets for the June 24th show cost €40 (general) and €60 (ringside) and are available from the boxers involved.

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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: [email protected]