Andrade wants to fight Billy Joe Saunders next
Demetrius Andrade defended his WBO title for the third time Friday night with a ninth-round destruction of game but overmatched Luke Keeler at Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami, FL
The time was 2:59 seconds.
Southpaw Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) knocked Keeler (17-3-1, 5 KOs) down with his first punch in the opening stanza. The Irish fighter took a nine count as Andrade tried to end things. He landed a big left but Keeler took it well. Keeler fought back but ate a right. He survived to hear the round end.
Andrade,31, connected with more hard shots in round two. Keeler, the WBO European middleweight titleholder, was trying to time Andrade. Andrade stepped in and landed an overhand left that collapsed Keeler. The fight looked over, but Keeler beat the fatal 10 count.
In rounds and three and four, the athletic Andrade continued to pound Keeler. He connected with an uppercut and two left hands. Keeler,32, remained upright. Andrade fired a left from Tampa that grazed Keeler. A right hand and check hook connected.
Keeler fired some jabs. Two big rights from Andrade jarred Keeler in round five. Keeler moved forward awkwardly. It seemed a matter of time before Andrade would again time him. Andrade bounced on his toes and circled in round six. Keeler flurried but ate two more rights. Andrade wound up and let em fly. One connected.
Andrade fired more bombs in rounds seven and eight. His quick jab clipped Keeler. Andrade leaned forward and fired more home run shots. He finally went to the body. Keeler was hanging tough. He landed a right. Andrade cracked to the body. He let his hands go. Up and down. A big left connected. Keeler was showing a good chin.
Andrade came out punching in round nine. Two big lefts hurt Keeler. An uppercut wilted Keeler but he didn’t go down. With 10 seconds to go in the heat, Andrade loaded up and let fly with more heavy head shots. A left and uppercut crashed home. Andrade fired a half dozen more punches which caused Keeler to wobble to the ropes. The referee jumped and waved off the contest.
“I knew Luke Keeler is a warrior,” said Andrade. “I felt good in there.”