"I think he’s going to overlook me – which is what I want" - Keeler

By Hayden Moore

LUKE Keeler believes he has every chance of stunning the boxing world with a shock when he goes up against undefeated WBO World Middleweight champion, Demetrius Andrade on January 30.

The Ballyfermot middleweight is chomping at the bit ahead of the title shot after rising up the world rankings to Number Two in the organisation following a stellar victory over highly-rated American Luis Arias back in August.

Luke Keeler v Luis Arias 2019

 “There was talk for a few weeks about it maybe happening in December, but boxing is funny like that, so it’s good to get it done now and I can just focus on it,” explained the 32-year-old.

“It’s amazing, dream-come-true stuff, but I’m not going over there just to make up the numbers.

“Most people who go in there against Andrade are just happy to survive, but that’s not what I’m about, I’m going over there to beat him.

“I was offered a fight in Scotland to keep fit, but how do you get up for those kinds of fights?

“I think that’s the way he’s looking at me, it’s something to keep him going before he gets one of these huge fights with the likes of Canelo [Alvarez].

“He’s a bit of a lazy fighter, he is a professional of course, but I think he’s going to overlook me – which is what I want.

“Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great boxer and the best middleweight out there, but I think he’s going to take his eye off the ball.”

Indeed, Keeler’s most impressive points victory to date came against Luis Arias, who served as a gatekeeper to other top opposition, on the Féile an Phobail show in Belfast that awarded him the opportunity of a title shot.

But it was no easy feat, with the two fighters going to war over 10 rounds that saw Keeler take some massive shots, but his pace and ability to fight on the backfoot prevailed.

“It was good to see that my chin could hold up, that I was able to take some big shots [against Luis Arias],” said ‘Coolhand’ Luke.

“A lot of my training right now is focused around my hand positioning because I can’t be making those kinds of mistakes against Andrade.”

With a record of 17-2-1 compared to the faultless record of 28-0-0 of Andrade, Keeler has drawn some criticism from boxing fans, but the former two-time WBO European Middleweight Champion has grown exponentially since taking boxing up full-time just two years ago.

 “My record is like a tale of two halves because I worked full-time up until two years ago – I never took my boxing seriously,” said Keeler.

“I fought Tom Doran once on Prizefighter and I had him down in the second fight, it was just that lack of experience rushing in when he caught me.

“I learned more from those losses though more than anything, I’ve grown since then.”

Now, under the guidance of renowned boxing coach Pete Taylor, Keeler continues to fine-tune his tools alongside 12 other professionals boxing out of Collosseum gym in Ballyfermot.

On January 30, Luke Keeler will make his United States debut when he challenges Demetrius Andrade for the WBO World Middleweight title at Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami.

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