Doran v Keeler II: Value for money in four and a half minutes
British middleweights Tom Doran and Luke Keeler produced a round and a half of brilliance on Saturday night as the pair fought tooth and nail for a fringe version of the WBC title in Liverpool.
Little was expected by the Echo Arena crowd when announcer John McDonald introduced the Sky Sports opener, although what transpired in just over four minutes thirty seconds blew everybody away.
A classic battle of who wants it more unfolded as Doran and Keeler, both 28, met for the second time after sharing three entertaining rounds in the Prizefighter tournament the former won back in February 2015.
Very early on the marker was laid down as Keeler stunned Doran to his boots and produced the first knockdown of the fight. Doran was clearly awakened by Keeler’s forceful intentions and began to fight fire with fire until Keeler himself hit the canvas.
The action was relentless throughout an eye-popping first round as the Dockland’s crowd drew breath at witnessing one of the best single rounds seen on UK soil for some time.
In the second, the action continued as Doran piled on the pressure sensing that Keeler came off worse in the first session. But both men were laying it all on the line and trading full blooded shots without any thought of the possible eight further rounds that could be ahead of them.
As it turned out, the fight would only last another minute or so as Keeler went down again and Doran’s killer instinct kicked in to end the fight. The Dave Coldwell managed fighter went for the jugular, and as Keeler possibly took a couple more than he should as Doran piled on the pressure, referee Iain John Lewis rightly ended the contest as the towel came in from the corner.
It’s not often a fighter with two defeats behind him following a rematch is linked to a trilogy encounter, but credit to Keeler – and to Doran for the matter, because who wouldn’t want to see that again? – No matter how long it lasts.