Prior to making his U.S. debut in Miami on Saturday night, Kevin Bizier insisted he wanted a stoppage victory against unbeaten slugger Fredrick Lawson. His reasoning? He wanted to leave nothing to chance.
The steel-chinned 31-year-old Canadian got exactly what he was aiming for.
Despite fighting an unbeaten 147-pound rival who had scored 20 knockouts in 24 career fights, Kevin Bizier (25-2, 17 KOs) was the one who established and sustained the tempo from the opening bell.
Evenly distributing monster shots to the jaw, temple, solar plexus and either side of Lawson’s body, Bizier methodically worked his way to earning an impressive 10th-round technical knockout at Miccosukee Resort & Gaming.
Bizier used a pinpoint right to the chin of Fredrick Lawson (24-1, 20 KOs) to score a fifth-round knockdown. The Quebec native's power took its toll, as Lawson complained to trainer Abel Sanchez of an injured jaw—one that was badly swollen and possibly broken—after the 10th. The injury prompted referee Sam Burgos to wave an end to the fight as Lawson sat in the corner.
“We had a good strategy to pressure him right away, and the fight went according to plan,” Bizier said. "We knew Lawson was a good fighter, but the left to the body and the head was working. Maintaining a short distance between us also was good.
“Lawson has a very long reach, but I was able to slip inside and work from inside. They adjusted by moving right to escape the left hook, but I came with the right hand, which scored the knockdown. And eventually the left hand led to the knockout.”
With the victory, Bizier put himself in line for an anticipated title shot against English world champion Kell Brook.
"This is a dream of a lifetime for me to be involved in a world championship fight," Bizier said. "I know that it's going to be a tough fight, and I'm going to have to be at my best for it."
Despite Lawson’s impressive knockout stats, it was Bizier who sprinted out of his corner and met his opponent at ring center in the first round. Soon after, Bizier signaled a long night for Lawson with a skin-rippling left hook to the body.
Bizier was effective with either hand from the start, landing three clean left hands prior to the end of the first, including an uppercut that made Lawson’s legs jiggle as he returned to his corner.
Proving his toughness, Lawson landed as well, but his blows were not as potent as those of Bizier, whose penchant for getting inside and getting off first kept Lawson from gaining full extension on the majority of his blows.
In the fifth round, Bizier blasted Lawson partially through the ropes, with Burgos calling it a knockdown, determining that the ropes were all that kept Lawson on his feet.
To his credit, Lawson never officially hit the canvas. But the Ghana native who now lives in Chicago was clearly the beaten man after the fight as he held an icepack on his jaw.
“I felt the swelling on his jaw [after the 10th], and when I did I saw him wince a little bit. It’s either dislocated really bad or it’s broken,” Sanchez said about his fighter. "We were losing the fight, so there was no sense in going on.
“Freddie’s biggest issue was pulling back with his hands down and trying to box this guy, who was applying the pressure and cutting him off. He did better on the inside when he kept the jab going and threw short combinations. When he pulled back, I think that it was a left hook that caught him in the 10th and probably did that damage to the jaw.”
For complete coverage of Bizier vs Lawson, visit our fight page.