By Dan Mole: Popular Walsall boxer Chris Keane is back in action on Saturday night as he takes on Czech fighter Jiri Svacina at Walsall Town Hall.
It’s been a topsy turvy year for the former ABA Champion. It started with a bang in January as he blew away Shane McPhilbin inside three rounds to claim the Midlands Area cruiserweight title.
The 27-year-old followed this up with a stunning two-round demolition of ‘Hungarian Barbarian’, Tamas Toth, in April.
It was shaping up to be the former Pleck ABC Man’s year but then disaster struck as Keane suffered a shock second-round defeat against Neil Dawson here at Walsall Town Hall back in May.
The WBO International Title was up for grabs that night and Keane was the bookies favourite to win. That wasn’t the case though and his unbeaten record was wiped out.
Keane, now 11-1, was able to lay some of the demons of that defeat to rest when he returned to Walsall Town Hall in September.
He recorded a comfortable points victory over Lithuanian Remigijus Ziausys and he will be looking to make further headway in the Cruiserweight division with another victory on Saturday.
“That’s boxing,” Keane told www.uko-boxing.com. “It’s the nature of the sport. One minute everything is on track, and then one punch can change things. That’s just the way it is. All you can do is get on with things.
“The most important thing to do is learn from a defeat and I’ve done that. It’s an experience that virtually every fighter has to go through. That’s the game we are in.
“I don’t know too much about Svacina. He’s from Eastern Europe so he’s going to be a tough kid. He’s rated in Europe so a win tonight will help my rankings too.
“It’s all about building back up now and getting fights in. I did OK last time out and I’ve trained hard for this one, so there’s no reason why I can’t push on again.”
As Keane rebuilds, his conqueror, Dawson, is lining up a shot at the British Cruiserweight title. The Rotherham man is set to challenge current holder, Jon Lewis Dickinson, for the Lord Lonsdale belt in February.
It’s a position Keane wants to be in but he wishes Dawson all the best in his efforts to claim the prestigious belt he too has his eyes on.
“I hope Dawson wins,” he added. “He’s a cool dude. He beat me. That’s boxing. I’ve got nothing but respect for him.
“I’d love the chance to avenge the defeat and if Neil beats Dickinson and I keep winning, I’d love to get it on again with him for the British Title.”