Tuesday, December 05, 2023  |


Kell Brook easily swats aside Kevin Bizier in two

Fighters Network

Kell Brook and Kevin Bizier share the same profession and the same initials but little else, which was proven when Brook retained his IBF welterweight title with a ridiculously easy second-round stoppage in his hometown of Sheffield, England, on Saturday. The official time was 2:15.

Brook, THE RING No. 1 at 147 pounds, stunned Bizier with a vicious right in the second and a follow-up attack sent the Canadian challenger crashing to the canvas. He bravely got to his feet but was floored again by a cluster of hooks almost immediately. The second knockdown seemed to sap whatever ambition was left and Brook sensed that, pouring on the punishment until the referee mercilessly halted what had become a bloodletting.

“I was levels above,” acknowledged Brook when interviewed by Sky Sports in the U.K. “I wanted to have a war but he couldn’t stand up to it. I want the big fights now that I have this mandatory out the way. I want that lovely green belt (WBC held by Danny Garcia) but I have enough power to knock out fighters that are weights above me.”

Bizier was strangely subdued in his first world-title bout and actually looked positively deflated before the opening bell. Brook went through the gears in the first, pounding his man with an assortment of power shots and the writing was instantly on the wall. He rocked Bizier with a right uppercut and even found time to switch southpaw. Bizier, who was hurt more than once, simply glued his gloves to his head and watched.

The finish was vintage Brook but this target was soft.

Brook (36-0, 25 knockouts) won the title by defeating then-unbeaten American Shawn Porter on points in Carson, California, two years ago. Unbeaten, talented and marketable, “The Special One” was expected to build on that career-best performance but serious injuries and forgettable wins over Jo Jo Dan, Frankie Gavin, and now Bizier, have hindered his momentum.

The Englishman is now desperate and in serious need of big-fight action and promoter Eddie Hearn insists that is precisely what Brook will get. “I believe (Kell) is the best welterweight in the world,” said the Matchroom boss. “I want to bring the big fights to Sheffield but we’ll travel if we have to. Let’s unify the division and fight the best. You’ve got (Jessie) Vargas, Garcia, (Tim) Bradley and Kell would walk to New York for a fight with (Miguel) Cotto.”

Time will tell if these big fights can be made but Brook is wasted on opposition of this caliber. Bizier looked nothing remotely resembling a No. 1 challenger and, on this evidence, the IBF is in dire need of reviewing their ranking system.

Brook weighed in at 146.5 pounds with Bizier at 146.2.

* * *

British Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell (13-1, 11 KOs) returned from his first career defeat with an eye-catching second-round knockout of Gary Sykes and captured the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title in the process. The official time was 2:58.

Campbell, who lost a split decision to Yvan Mendy in December, nailed Sykes with a superb counter left hook out of the southpaw stance in the second and a quick two-fisted burst sent the former British junior lightweight champion sprawling to the canvas.

Sykes, who has seen better days, rose gamely but he was badly shaken and Campbell pounded away accurately to head and body until the referee called a halt.

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



You can subscribe to the print and digital editions of THE RING Magazine by clicking the banner or here. On the cover this month: Manny Pacquiao goes into what is possibly his final fight against fellow pound-for-pound entrant Timothy Bradley, on April 9. You can also order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues on our subscribe page.