Kevin Bizier’s next fight may not only be his most difficult, but if his trainer is to be believed, it probably will define the rest of his career.
A 31-year-old Canadian boxer-puncher, Bizier (24-2, 16 KOs) will be at a disadvantage in age, height and power against Fredrick Lawson (24-0, 20 KOs) in their 147-pound bout November 7 at Miccosukee Resort & Gaming in Miami (NBCSN, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
“Kevin needs this win,” career-long cornerman Marc Ramsey says of Kevin Bizier, who will be making his U.S. debut after having contested his first 26 pro bouts in his native Quebec. “This is a do-or-die situation right now. He needs to win this bout or the future is not going to be the same for him.”
Considering this is an eliminator bout, with the winner in line to face undefeated champion Kell Brook of England, Ramsey isn’t just flinging around hyperbole to motivate his fighter.
For his part, the 5-foot-9 Bizier acknowledges he’s facing a tough task against the 6-foot Lawson, winner of his last fight in March by split decision over Breidis Prescott, who himself owns a 54-second knockout against former 140-pound world champ Amir Khan.
“Lawson is a tall, physically strong, very good boxer with a good amateur background,” Bizier says. “My ultimate goal is to be world champion. I really feel this is my chance, my moment. I’m all in with this fight.”
Bizier weighed 149.5 for his last fight in April, a majority decision over Fouad El Massoudi. That victory followed a second split-decision loss in as many matches against left-handed countryman Jo Jo Dan—the only boxer to have defeated Bizier as a pro.
“Those were two very, very close fights with Jo Jo Dan, and Kevin has a bit more difficulty with southpaws,” Ramsey says of Dan, a fellow Quebec resident who vanquished Bizier in November 2013 and December 2014. “Jo Jo Dan is a good southpaw who made it a little more complicated for Kevin to adjust to him. But Lawson is a completely different fighter.”
Bizier may not have faced a boxer with Lawson’s vast skill set since defeating undersized former 135-pound champion Nate Campbell by eighth-round stoppage in February 2013. Campbell’s career also includes bouts against big names such as Danny Garcia and Victor Ortiz.
“Going against a veteran like Nate Campbell was a very big learning experience for a guy like Kevin,” Ramsey says. “Campbell had a lot of experience, but he was a small guy for 147, and he didn’t bring the physical aspects that Lawson brings.”
A 26-year-old native of Accra, Ghana, Lawson’s victory over Prescott happened 11 minutes from Miami in Hialeah, Florida, representing his third straight triumph on American soil after previously fighting exclusively in his homeland.
“This is an amazing opportunity for me to fight on American TV, especially outside of Canada,” says Bizier, winner of seven Canadian titles as an amateur. “But I have already fought all over the world as an amateur, so it’s nothing new for me.”
Bizier’s 98-26 amateur record includes a win over former Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz of the Dominican Republic, as well as a loss to Marcos Maidana in a bout in which both boxers rose from the canvas.
“I’ve already exchanged with a lot of good boxers at the amateur level,” Bizier says. “Now it’s time to do the same in the pro game, and I’m ready for it.”
Should Bizier get the best of Lawson, the road to a title won’t get any easier against Brook, who floored Dan four times during a fourth-round stoppage in March. And Dan was coming off his second victory over Bizier.
“We all know that boxing is a question of styles, and Brook is not even close to the style of Jo Jo Dan,” Ramsey says. “So we cannot say that Kevin is not able to compete with Kell Brook because Kell Brook destroyed Jo Jo Dan.
“But after losing two fights to Jo Jo Dan, Kevin’s in a position where he has to win this bout to continue his career.”
For complete coverage of Bizier vs Lawson, check out our fight page.