SHEFFIELD’S Kell Brook has warned his latest mandatory challenger Kevin Bizier that there will no more ‘Mr Nice Guy’ when they meet for the IBF title tonight.
Brook faces Canadian Bizier at the Sheffield Arena knowing that a win should set up a summer blockbuster following a frustrating period after wrestling the title away from American Shawn Porter in California in August, 2014.
On paper, Bizier should not provide many problems for ‘The Special One’, having twice lost to Jo Jo Dan, a man who looked well out of his depth before he was put out of his misery by Brook in the fourth round of his first mandatory defence last May.
But Brook, who has been touted to face the likes of Timothy Bradley, Miguel Cotto or Keith Thurman should he come through tonight’s fight, is not looking too far ahead and just wants to get the job done again.
Brook said: “Saturday night is about breaking Mr Bizier’s heart, and breaking his bones, so here we go.
“I’m looking to excite everyone who comes to watch and give them a good old-fashioned war.
“I’m very excited.”
Brook knows he needs to put on a show and win in good style against the unfancied Canadian, who has only fought once outside his native Quebec City.
Bizier, who has a reputation as a hard-hitting, come-forward fighter, has never been stopped and it would make something of a statement if Brook could win tonight’s fight inside the distance.
“I believe I am the best welterweight on the planet and I need to go in there and show why,” added Brook.
“I’m 30 this year, and I want to show the world that I am ready for the big big fights.”
Brook’s long-time trainer Dominic Ingle expects Bizier to come full of hunger, but for the Sheffield man to break him down before stopping him in the middle rounds.
He said: “He’s a tough guy, he can punch and he’ll be up for it, it’s his big chance. I’m expecting him to go at least six, seven rounds before it becomes a bit too much for him and Kell takes him out after six or seven.”
Ingle was a keen observer when Bizier took to the ring for a public workout earlier this week, and he admitted the Canadian looked tense.
“He looks like he has plenty of power, plenty of snap, but he looked a bit tense, like he was on edge, a bit like a man on his wedding night with something to prove,” added Ingle.
Another Yorkshireman with something to prove in Sheffield is Hull’s golden boy Luke Campbell, who will look to put his shock points defeat against Yvan Mendy when he takes on Dewsbury’s Gary Sykes for the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title.
Campbell looked a shadow of the man who flew to 12 straight wins after winning the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics when he lost to Frenchman Mendy in December and has been working with Jorge Rubio, who trained Guillermo Rigondeaux and David Haye, and is keen to put on a show against Sykes.
“Im 100 per cent focused, I don’t think I’ve ever been this focused and I have trained differently and pushed myself for this fight,” said Campbell, who would become the first Commonwealth champion from Hull if he beats Yorkshire rival Sykes.
“I have a lot of respect for Gary (Sykes). I have known him a lot of years and I know what he brings to the table. I am more than ready for that and come Saturday we are going to see what I’m capable of and I’m only scratching the surface at the moment.”
Sykes is hugely confident of inflicting Campbell’s second loss.
He said: “I’m under no illusion that I’m being seen as a stepping stone, but I’m not reading the script they’re reading. I thrive off being the underdog.”
There is a host of other Yorkshire-based interest on the show tonight, led by Conisbrough heavyweight David Allen, who meets charistmatic American Jason Gavern.
Allen was all set to meet Richard Towers to set up a shot at Anthony Joshua’s British title, but Towers pulled out this week.
Barnsley’s big-hitting Andy Townend takes on Craig Poxton for the English super featherweight title, while Sheffield’s Adam Etches and Rotherham’s Lee Appleyard are on the undercard.