Luke Keeler to face Lucas Arias on Michael Conlan undercard

RINGSIDE 03/07/2019

WBO European middleweight king Luke Keeler will graduate to world level in facing American Luis Arias on the huge Féile an Phobail card on August 3.

‘Cool Hand’ (16-2-1, 5 KOs) was last seen defeating Conrad Cummings at Ulster Hall and now returns to Belfast to take on Arias (18-1-1, 9 KOs), whose sole career defeat came at the hands of recent world champion Daniel Jacobs.

As he prepares for the scheduled 10-rounder on the #MTKFightNight topped by Michael Conlan vs. Diego Alberto Ruiz – broadcast live on BT Sport in association with Queensberry Promotions and on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, Dublin’s Keeler is full of enthusiasm.

Keeler said: “I know Luis Arias is a world-level fighter and will be best I’ve been in with. Technically, he’s good but he’s the perfect step I need to beat before fighting for a world title.

“Arias has already proven he is on the same level as the likes of Gabriel Rosado, who we tried make the fight against – but I feel style-wise Arias will suit me better than he suited Rosado.

“I know this is a huge event and that tickets have flown out quickly. I’m expecting a great atmosphere and real support from the people of Belfast again.

“I’m within touching distance of that world title dream. I’ll be at world level after this fight. My name can be mentioned in the mix straight away.”

Already confirmed for the card alongside Conlan vs. Ruiz and Keeler vs. Arias is another huge collision between unbeaten middleweights Alfredo Meli and Araik Marutjan plus the likes of Paddy Barnes, Sean McComb, Padraig McCrory, Callum Bradley, Seanie Duffy and Dee Sullivan.