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O’Keeffe keen to keep progressing


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WITH a temporary absence from fighting likely to follow next week’s bout with Dean Reilly at Cage Warriors 44, Steve O’Keeffe is eager to impress.

O’Keeffe (4-1-0) and his partner are expecting a baby girl in November so the 25-year-old’s focus will be elsewhere. However, having secured an excellent 3rd round submission victory over Artem Lobov at Cage Warriors 43, O’Keeffe is desperate to show fans more of what he’s capable of.

He’ll get that opportunity on October 1 at the HMV Forum in Kentish Town when he takes on Reilly (5-2-0) in what has all the ingredients to make for an intriguing featherweight battle.

“After this fight I may have to take a little time off because we have a baby girl due in November,” says O’Keeffe. “But I’m hoping I can work some magic to carry on training and fighting. I just want to move up the ladder and start fighting at the highest level.”

O’Keeffe has plenty of respect for his opponent next week. Dean Reilly’s most recent fight ended with the 29-year-old Scot being awarded a unanimous decision win over Josh Ramage at Cage Warriors 41 in April.

“I’ve only really seen a few videos of Dean,” O’Keeffe explains, “so I can’t really rate him properly. He looks quite durable. As far as the fight goes I’m going out there to win it, just as he is. We’re both up and coming guys so I’m sure the fans will love it. Any opponent I come up against is going to have to knock me out to beat me. It’s the only way.”

While O’Keeffe was satisfied with his win over Lobov in July, he felt he could have made life easier on himself. “I’ve been told a lot of people enjoyed that fight,” the Combat Sports Academy fighter recalls. “I made it hard on myself though. In the 1st round I took him down and dominated but in the 2nd I came out trading.

“I should have just stuck to what was working. He was very tough and hit like concrete. But I can’t wait to get back in there. I love fighting and hopefully I can climb up the rankings.”

O’Keeffe also expressed his excitement at being back on a Cage Warriors card, adding: “I think Cage Warriors is the best show in Europe. It’s very organised, there’s always a great atmosphere at the shows and the team that run it are brilliant. What more could you ask for?”

Cage Warriors 44 at the HMV Forum in Kentish Town, London on October 1 will be headlined by Brian Foster v Jack Mason and Joseph Duffy v Ivan Musardo (CWFC lightweight title fight). Get your tickets HERE. Follow Cage Warriors on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates.

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