The ‘L’ word rarely enters a boxer’s lexicon, especially in the days leading up to a big fight. But much like in the ring, Kevin Bizier shows no fear—and pulls no punches—when talking about the importance of Saturday’s 147-pound clash with undefeated Fredrick Lawson.
“Losing is not an option for me. I’m 31 years old, and it’s time for me to do this,” says Bizier, who by winning his U.S. debut would move in line for a title shot against English champion Kell Brook. “This is a big opportunity to earn my first championship fight.”
In fact, the same title opportunity awaits Lawson, which makes for an intriguing 12-round matchup Saturday at Miccosukee Resort & Gaming in Miami (NBCSN, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). It’s a matchup that could yield fireworks, as Lawson (24-0, 20 KOs) and Bizier (24-2, 16 KOs) have each knocked out well over half of their opponents.
Then again, neither man has been on the wrong side of a stoppage.
“I’m not going to make a prediction on when I will knock him out,” Kevin Bizier says, “but my objective is to get the knockout.”
Bizier, who weighed in Friday at 146.6 pounds, was last in the ring in April, when the lifelong resident of Quebec City earned a majority decision over Fouad El Massoudi. The victory followed a second split-decision loss to southpaw countryman Jo Jo Dan, the only man who has beaten Bizier.
The 26-year-old Lawson, who hit the scale Friday at 145.6 pounds, aims to be the third.
“If Bizier is going to try to go for the knockout, then I’m going to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee,” says Fredrick Lawson, a native of Accra, Ghana, who now fights out of Chicago. “I’m not going to go looking for the knockout right away, but if he messes up, then he’s going down for the count.
“Either way, the final verdict is going to be in my favor.”
If Lawson’s prediction proves accurate, Bizier’s career could be headed for a crossroads—and that’s not just the Canadian’s assessment, either. Rather than tamp down the importance of this fight, Bizier’s trainer, Marc Ramsay, has bluntly called this a “do-or-die situation” for his man.
That said, Ramsay has the utmost confidence that Bizier will prevail, in large part because of his experience. In addition to his stellar pro career, Bizier’s amateur résumé includes a win over former Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz of the Dominican Republic and a close loss to Marcos Maidana in a bout in which both boxers hit the deck.
“ Losing is not an option for me. I’m 31 years old, and it’s time for me to do this. ” Kevin Bizier, on the importance of Saturday's fight with Fredrick Lawson
“Understand that Kevin has had more than 140 amateur fights and has fought all around the world,” Ramsay says. “So Kevin has seen everything already in boxing. And as far as his punching abilities, you still have the same power as an amateur that you do as a professional.
"It’s a question of preparation, and we got ready for this fight with very good sparring partners.”
In an interesting twist, Ramsay will be opposing fellow trainer Abel Sanchez for the second time in three weeks. Sanchez, who works in Lawson’s corner, trains 160-pound champion Gennady Golovkin, who scored an eighth-round knockout over the Ramsay-coached David Lemieux on October 17.
As was the case in that contest, Sanchez’s fighter will enter the ring with advantages in power and height (Lawson stands 6-feet tall, while Bizier checks in at 5-foot-8½). However, in addition to the experience edge, Ramsay will be working with the more aggressive boxer—something for which Sanchez says Lawson will be very much prepared.
“Kevin will come out strong, come forward and try to land a shot by pressing Freddie like Lemieux tried to press Gennady,” says Sanchez, who will be working his third fight with Lawson. “Not that Bizier’s not a good boxer, but he’s more of a brawler and who comes forward and tries to take your head off.”
Lawson has been out of the ring since March 26, when he earned a razor-thin, split decision over Breidis Prescott, winning the 10-round affair by a single point on two scorecards.
It was easily Lawson’s most difficult fight against his most accomplished opponent, and his trainer expects an even stiffer challenge against Bizier.
“I saw Kevin go some hard rounds against Jo Jo Dan, so we have a tough fight on our hands,” Sanchez says. “Freddie’s got a lot of knockouts, but I don’t see that necessarily happening against Bizier.
“I don’t expect an easy fight as much as a long one that goes to a decision. Freddie’s boxing skills will be the determining factor. We’ll hit him with straight shots and win a tough one by decision.”
Obviously, such a result is one Bizier says he simply can’t afford, let alone comprehend.
“My time,” he says, “is now.”
For complete coverage of Bizier vs Lawson, check out our fight page.