Brook battles Bizier in third title defence, Blackwell faces Eubank Jr
Lee Gormley | March 24, 2016
Kell Brook v Kevin Bizier
- IBF welterweight title fight
- Saturday, March 26th
- Scheduled for: 22:00 GMT
- Sheffield Arena, South Yorkshire
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Brook makes Bizier defence in Sheffield
Kell Brook makes the third defence of his IBF welterweight title at the Sheffield Arena this Saturday night against Canadian challenger Kevin Bizier, with the reigning champion seeking a statement showing in the Steel City.
Since dethroning American Shawn Porter to claim his IBF crown, Brook (35-0, 24 KOs) has successfully overcome both Romanian Jo Jo Dan and compatriot Frankie Gavin, and the 29-year-old now returns to his home patch in search of a trio of defences.
‘The Special One’ is currently the highest ranked welterweight in the world, but has failed to draw in a big name opponent, with long-standing rival Amir Khan surprisingly opting to fight Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez instead, but Brook is focused only on Bizier (23-2, 17 KOs) and is 13/8 with Coral for knockout success in rounds 4-6 this weekend.
‘Special K’ to take frustration out on Bizier
Having missed out on the chance of an all-British showdown with Khan, for now, Brook claims he will use such frustration in the heat of battle with his latest opposition, with the latter 31-year-old having beaten Ghanaian Fredrick Lawson to earn a title shot.
“It doesn’t make any difference to my training. I’m not interested. That’s his fight and I’m concentrating on mine,” stated the defending champion, who is 11/4 to end proceedings early in rounds 1-3.
“It’s frustrating because I want those big fights now and it’s frustrating I have to get a mandatory out of the way. It is what it is and I’ll deal with Bizier on March 26 and move on. I’m looking for a big fight this summer.
“I channel it all. You’ve got to be careful how you approach a fight. You’ve can’t go in with anger or anything else. I’m going to go in there and enjoy myself because I’ve done my hard work in the gym. It’s about having fun on the night.
“I’m not looking for a stoppage. I won’t force it. I think it’ll come to me. When I see the right shot and the right opportunity to take him out, then I will.”
Bizier out to fulfil dream
Following his IBF title eliminator success, stopping Lawson in 10 rounds, Bizier is aiming to add his name to the list of Canadian world champions past and present, and will enter the Sheffield Arena as the 9/1 underdog.
Fellow countrymen Adonis Stevenson, Lucian Bute, Jean Pascal and David Lemieux have all reigned previously, and the Quebec City-born contender is targeting a similar path, stating: “Canadian boxing is in a good place right now with some great fighters and great champions with the likes of Bute, Stevenson, Pascal and Lemieux.
“But I want to make a name for myself now and prove I belong at world level, they have opened the road for Canadian fighters to come and make big statements on the biggest stage.
“I am going to leave everything in the ring…”
“Now I am on the cusp of fulfilling my dreams of being the champion of the world and I am going to leave everything in the ring to make that dream come true.”
On the undercard, Luke Campbell makes his return to the ring after suffering a shock maiden defeat at the hands of Frenchman Yvan Mendy, and the 2012 Olympic Gold medalist is odds-on 1/20 to overcome Gary Sykes, but a second damaging defeat is 8/1 to occur.
Though it’s Brook that will aim to make the headlines in the main event in front of his home crowd, with another solid defence potentially set to lure in more illustrious opponents in the near future for a fighter seeking to prove his critics wrong.
Nick Blackwell v Chris Eubank Jr
- British middleweight title fight
- Saturday, March 26th
- Scheduled for: 22:30 GMT
- Wembley Arena, London
- Live on Channel 5
Eubank Jr battles Blackwell for British crown
Chris Eubank Jr will look to make another career statement when he contests compatriot Nick Blackwell for his British middleweight title at Wembley Arena on Saturday night, following an impressive victory over Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan last time out.
The middleweight prospect forced his last Irish opponent to retire after seven rounds in London, and he is now 11/4 to outpoint reigning British champion Blackwell (19-3-1, 8 KOs) to claim the crown he has been searching for since he was young.
“This is something from a very early age that I always wanted to accomplish in my career,” Eubank Jr (21-1, 16 KOs) said of the British title.
“Once we get in there and start fighting, he’ll show cowardice and end up quitting or getting knocked out. On the one hand you have a generic, nice guy, British level boxer. On the other you have a barbarian. It’s going to be a no contest.”
Blackwell backs Eubank Jr to fall short
Towbridge fighter Blackwell will be hoping for a third successful defence of his British belt, which would see him take possession of the Lonsdale strap outright, and the 25-year-old is 11/2 to stop his challenger in London.
“He’s going to have a shock on the night, trust me,” stated Blackwell. “Why wouldn’t you take the world title fight against Danny Jacobs? Obviously you don’t believe in your own ability.”
In defeating O’Sullivan last December, Eubank Jr earned himself a crack at Daniel Jacobs’ WBA regular middleweight crown, but that fight was pushed back as he favoured a British title shot first, and his father has again spoke extremely highly ahead of this match-up.
“He’s cold, he’s insular, well, he’s scary,” Chris Eubank Snr declared. “It’s difficult to find anybody with his speed, his irrepressibility.
“The intensity with which he lives – not just trains, lives – will see him victor on March 26.
“I can’t see anyone in the middleweight division or super-middleweight division staying with him in boxing. He has an algorithm that is unique, different to anyone he fights.”
Eubank Jr has plenty of expectations placed upon his shoulders, but also has many doubting his credentials, as he looks to test himself against a tough British champion in Blackwell, before a potential world title fight later this year.