Luke Keeler will be a massive underdog when the Dublin native faces Demetrius Andrade in Miami on Jan. 30, challenging the American for the WBO middleweight title, but he says he’s seen things in Andrade’s style he feels he can use to his advantage.
“I definitely think he’s looking at bigger fights, but I’m focused completely and he’s in for a shock,” Keeler said. “I’ve watched his performances and he just relies on his skills. He does enough to win but he never pushes himself to the limit.
“Maybe that’s the reason why doesn’t have a huge following. He’s a great champion and I respect him, but at the same time I see mistakes and weaknesses that we are ready to exploit.”
Andrade (28-0, 17 KO) won the WBO 160-pound belt in Oct. 2018, beating Walter Kautondokwa for the vacant strap, and made defenses in 2019 against Artur Akavov and Maciej Sulecki. To say that the Rhode Island fighter hasn’t exactly been facing the best of the best at middleweight would be an understatement, and with due respect to Keeler (17-2-1, 5 KO), that’s the general feeling about this matchup, too.
Keeler, 32, last fought on Aug. 3 in Belfast, beating Luis Arias over 10 rounds, and also defeated Conrad Cummings via 10-round decision earlier in 2019. He showed some real fire in the win over Arias, but Arias is no Andrade.
Still, it’s the chance of a lifetime for Keeler, and he’ll surely show up giving his best effort.
“I’m buzzing for this fight,” he said. “It’s a dream come true and I’m ready to take my chance. I think the Americans will appreciate my style as I always give it everything in the ring and this fight will be no different, so I think the crowd will be on my side by the end of the fight.”
He’s also vowing to take the fight to the 31-year-old titleholder.
“You’re going to see another vastly improved performance from me,” he said. “I’ll be relentless in there and I’m going to rip the belt from Andrade.”