Canadian Kevin Bizier’s camp says he is ready to shock the boxing world and take Kell Brook’s world title off him, in his own back yard.
As The Star predicted earlier this week, Brook’s IBF welterweight defence will take place in his home city of Sheffield on March 26.
Many pundits think it will be a walk-over for Brook, who has been getting towards peak shape with a warm-weather training camp in Fuerteventura, one of Spain’s Canary Islands.
Yvon Michel, Bizier’s promoter, confirmed the date had been settled and told BoxingScene.com.”We finally have it in hand - We are very happy with the terms of the fight; Kevin is prepared to travel to England and come home with the title.
“Negotiations went very well,” Michel added, even with the initial, lurking prospect of the battle going to a purse bid auction. “We both wanted the fight in our respective countries but are happy with the terms.
“It is always a pleasure to work with (Matchroom promoter) Eddie Hearn. We worked out the date and location, Kevin has the proper time to train and will deliver the performance of his life.”
His fighter added: “I know I’ll be the underdog, but I guarantee you that I will give the performance of my life.
“I fought in England as an amateur. Having the crowd against me doesn’t bother me at all.”
The short, thick-set fighter from Saint-Emile, Quebec, earned the right to face the unbeaten South Yorkshire champion in a title eliminator in Florida in early November, when he stopped Ghanaian Fredrick Lawson, who had never been beaten in 24 previous fights. Last year, Lawson beat Breidis Prescott...who has beaten Amir Khan.
Bizier’s win over Lawson is regarded as his career-best, so he will confident he is in the form of his life going into the Brook challenge. While the show will be live on Sky, it is also likely to be broadcast in the States, where Brook’s team still has work to do to build his profile, despite his superb win over Shawn Porter in Carson, California in August 2014.
Brook would rather be tangling with a bigger name.
But he told ESPN: “I’ve not trained my whole life just to give the belt away, so I need to fight him, it is what it is.
“After the knife injury, (he was attacked on holiday) I had to face my mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan and then fought Frankie Gavin quickly on the spin but then I got injured again, had to pull out of fighting Diego Chaves and the mandatory has come around again.
“But I want to be fighting the bigger names. It’s a bonus it’s in front of the home fans and I don’t have to travel too far. I just want to get it out the way, do a job on him, and then move on to a massive fight in the summer.
“I think there are more exciting fights out there for me after this one than Chaves, but I feel for him [Chaves] because I got injured and then I’ve had to do the mandatory instead of reschedule it,” Brook said.
“You know that the fight everyone wants is against Khan, or the likes of Tim Bradley, Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia. These are the type of fighters I want to fight. I’ve not been in good company opponents-wise and I want to jump on them this year.
“Khan has got nowhere else to go. He was waiting and waiting for Floyd Mayweather, didn’t get it, then he waited for Pacquiao, and never got it. The fight against me is there to be made, it’s the biggest fight out there for him, and he’s got nowhere to hide now.
“The biggest fight out there for the fans is for me and Khan to fight each other.”