Luke Keeler wants to follow in the footsteps of fellow Irishman Jono Carroll and fast-track his blossoming career by landing the Prizefighter Middleweights III title on Saturday at the Winter Gardens, live on Sky Sports.
Keeler’s last outing was in Dublin in November where he explosively stopped the experienced Gary Boulden inside one round, to make it five wins out of seven inside the distance. The night was brought to a close by Carroll who earned a spot in December’s Prizefighter Lightweights with a disqualification win over Declan Geraghty – and Carroll went on to win the tournament and land a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing in the process.
“This is a huge platform and it can get me out there,” said Keeler, who faces Luke Crowcroft in the third quarter-final. “You have seen that with my gym mate Jono Carroll and the success he has had and I am hoping for the same.
“I will take each fight as it comes and if I land and a stoppage comes, it comes. I have natural power and have knocked out some decent guys in the amateurs and the same in sparring I have been dropping guys with body shots, head shots. I won’t be loading up looking for shots but at the same time I will get in and box and I know if I land clean I can do some damage.
“I have looked up bits of the other guys on YouTube. There are some good undefeated guys and it is a good test for me at this stage. I am the lowest ranked of all the guys but at the same time nothing I have seen phases me and I am confident of doing the business.
“I will box, be busy and make angles, be sharp, and hopefully it goes well.
“If I looked at them and saw them knocking guys out like I have, and hearing things then maybe it does bring in a bit of apprehension. The other guys in the competition won’t have as high a knockout percentage but I wouldn’t say they look too much into it. At the same time you can say that, I am also the lowest ranked and have had the least ranked so they might also be looking past me.”
Keeler is one of five unbeaten fighters in the line-up for the 35th edition of Prizefighter, with local favourite Jack Arnfield, Wales’ Tom Doran, Preston’s Mick Hall and Birmingham’s Craig Cunningham all risking their ‘0’. Former finalist Cello Renda is aiming to go one better while youngsters Liam Conroy and Luke Crowcroft can give their careers a massive boost with victory.
Brian Rose tops the bill in Blackpool in a must-win clash with Carson Jones for the vacant WBC International Light Middleweight title while Lytham St. Annes’ English Lightweight champion Scotty Cardle gets a four-rounder on the bill while there’s a third pro outing for Marcus Morrison.
Only £40 tickets remain available to buy at www.MatchroomBoxing.com.
PRIZEFIGHTER MIDDLEWEIGHTS III DRAW
Quarter final 1: Liam Conroy vs. Cello Renda
Quarter final 2: Jack Arnfield vs. Mick Hall
Quarter final 3: Luke Keeler vs. Luke Crowcroft
Quarter final 4: Craig Cunningham vs. Tom Doran