Thursday, September 28, 2023  |


Kell Brook sharp for Kevin Bizier but eager for the elite welterweights

Fighters Network
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 30: Kell Brook of Engalnd and Frankie Gavin of England exchange blows during their IBF World Welterweight Championship bout at The O2 Arena on May 30, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

In his last fight, Kell Brook scored a sixth-round stoppage of countryman Frankie Gavin to retain the IBF welterweight title. Photo: Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Young, unbeaten, popular and the IBF welterweight champion of the world but one always gets the impression that British star Kell Brook, who defends his title against mandatory challenger Kevin Bizier in Sheffield, England, on Saturday, is still anxious to prove himself.

Since his majority decision title victory over Shawn Porter, in August 2014, the hard-hitting 29-year-old has overcome serious injury and limited opposition in a quest to prove himself the finest welterweight on the planet.

A domestic dust-up with Amir Khan stalled when “King Khan” flew north for an unexpected middleweight, or catchweight, showdown with Canelo Alvarez on May 7 so, for now, Brook must feast on undistinguished Canadian Kevin Bizier before targeting bigger game.

“I’ve not had a look at Bizier yet,” explained Brook who is rated No. 1 by THE RING at 147 pounds. “I may watch a round or two to see what he’s like but all I’ve worked on is improving my own game. As long as I’m at my best, no welterweight can beat me.

“I don’t know what to expect from Bizier, but if he comes out to attack me the fans are going to be in for a real treat. People are saying that this is a walk in the park for me but this guy will have trained his heart out and he’ll be trying his best to take my title.”

According to odds makers, Bizier’s best will have to border on super human if he is to lift Brook’s title. Odds as lopsided as 27-to-1 against have been posted, which essentially means Saturday’s title fight is more turkey shoot than shootout.

With that in mind, Brook shared his take on some upcoming fights and the prospective opponents which surely lie ahead.

The next big 147-pound showdown features Manny Pacquiao in a rubber match with American Tim Bradley on April 9 in Las Vegas.

“I think Pacquiao is at the end now,” said Brook with a sigh. “It’s hard to split them coming into this fight but I’d probably prefer Tim Bradley to come through because he’s the younger fighter and he’ll go in there with anyone.

“I think it would be a great scrap between me and Bradley or me and Pacquiao, so if either of those fights could be made then I’d grab the opportunity with both hands.”

On June 25, WBA titleholder Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter meet in a power-packed welterweight matchup that carries a lot of the excitement and intrigue that is perhaps lacking in Pacquiao-Bradley III.

Brook (35-0, 24 knockouts) has already bested one half of Porter-Thurman and, although he found it difficult to pick a winner, the Englishman hinted that a Thurman victory would set up the more attractive dance partner.

He said, “Porter and Thurman is a tough one to call because there’s a lot to like from both fighters. Porter is coming off a good win over Adrien Broner and Thurman has been making plenty of noise in the welterweight division also.

“I suppose Thurman winning would suit me best because Porter’s style didn’t mix very well with mine. Thurman and I bring power and there would be no rushing in and grabbing. That fight would be explosive with plenty of punching power and excitement. It would be great to watch.”

The 147-pound division is stacked with elite talent and one of the latest additions is former unified junior welterweight titleholder Danny Garcia, who slugged out a unanimous decision victory over Robert Guerrero in January.

“I’d love that fight,” said an instantly motivated Brook. “I’ve been wanting the Garcia fight for some time now because he has a beautiful green belt (WBC) and I’d like to sit that next to mine. We’re both unbeaten, we’re both exciting and I think that’s another crowd pleasing fight.

“I’m willing to travel anywhere to get the big fights and Garcia is very high on my wish list. You also have Jessie Vargas who won a (WBO) title recently. I want unification fights and if I’m matched against any of these guys, the fans are sure to tune in.”

And what of the man who fight fans will be tuning in for on May 7? Khan has made the audacious choice to chase history by taking on a much more powerful foe in Alvarez and while Brook refused to write Khan off completely, he still picks the Mexican to win by stoppage.

“I was shocked to see the Canelo-Khan announcement because I thought Khan and I were going to get it on but that’s the way it goes,” said Brook, who could barely hide his disappointment.

“If Khan fights me and loses it’s the end of the road for him. By taking on Canelo Alvarez at this catchweight, he only needs to look good in defeat and it’s win-win for him. After that he can drop back down to welterweight and rebuild.”

Lost in this welterskelter then is Bizier (25-2, 17 KOs) who ventures to Brook’s Sheffield fortress full of intent but low on chances. The 31-year old’s claim to fame is that he has never been stopped in a seven-year professional career, a distinction his opponent is looking to end on Saturday.

“I definitely want to be the first fighter to take him out,” purred Brook. “I’m not going to force anything but I’ll be sharp, using angles and the knockout will come. I’d like him to push me so the fans get some entertainment but if I knock him out with the first punch then so be it. I’ve had a long hard camp and I’m looking to do some damage.”

Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing



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