Power puncher Fredrick Lawson works to refine boxing skills to become a more complete—and dangerous—fighter

Fredrick Lawson shares an unbeaten record, a comparable knockout rate and the same trainer as 160-pound champion Gennady Golovkin. But the similarities between the two boxers end there—at least for now.

Fredrick Lawson

After knocking out 19 of his first 20 professional opponents, Fredrick Lawson has gone the distance in three of his last four fights—which his trainer believes is a good thing.

“Freddie Lawson’s not Golovkin, yet, but he’s a talented kid who is more boxer than knockout artist,” says trainer Abel Sanchez, who will be working with Lawson (24-0, 20 KOs) for the third straight time during Friday’s 147-pound battle with Kevin Bizier (24-2, 16 KOs) at Miccosukee Resort & Gaming in Miami (NBCSN, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).

“Freddie’s quick-handed, has a great jab and loves to engage in a fight. But we’re developing more patience, punch placement and the skills to prepare him for the elite level, rather than trying to go all out to knock somebody out.”

It makes sense that Sanchez would want to invest extra time honing his fighter’s pure boxing ability, because Fredrick Lawson clearly doesn’t need to practice his put-away punch. A 26-year-old native of Ghana who now resides in Chicago, Lawson has stopped nearly 83 percent of his opponents, including 15 in a row from July 2011 through March 2013.

While Sanchez acknowledges his guy’s KO prowess, he’s quick to caution those who assume it’s all been the result of one-punch power.

“Freddie’s gotten a lot of knockouts, for sure,” Sanchez says. “But his knockouts are more due to his wearing guys down and eventually stopping them.”

Since his run of 15 consecutive KOs, Lawson has been taken the distance three times in his last four bouts, including his past two outings: He scored a unanimous decision over Ray Narth in October 2014 and won a narrow split decision against Breidis Prescott in March.

Sanchez believes Lawson benefited greatly from those lengthy contests, each of which went 10 rounds.

“My first fight with Freddie was Ray Nahr, when [Lawson] was climbing the ranks and trying to impress me, and he did a lot of jumping around that I didn’t like,” Sanchez recalls. “But this kid’s in the learning process, and the last two fights allowed us to work on some things.”

Sanchez says that ring work not only helped Lawson get through Narth and Prescott, but will serve him well against future opponents, including the 31-year-old Bizier—and beyond.

“Going the rounds has taught Freddie to settle down a lot more, preparing him for the Kell Brooks, the Keith Thurmans or the Shawn Porters, if they ever come up,” says Sanchez, will oppose Bizier’s cornerman, Marc Ramsay, for the second time in three weeks, having guided Golovkin to an eighth-round knockout over the Ramsay-trained David Lemieux on October 17.

“When you have those rounds in the bank, it’s not going to be as difficult to reach back and get something when you need it.”

Lawson concurs, adding that he was especially pleased with his work against Prescott, owner of a 54-second knockout over former 140-pound world champion Amir Khan.

“I felt like I did a good job that night against Prescott, because that was a tough fight,” says Lawson, who could earn a title shot against Brook by defeating Bizier. “One thing that I learned is that you don’t go into a fight looking for a knockout. You prepare to fight to the end, and if a knockout happens, it happens.

“I’ve improved, but I’m still learning, and [the Prescott] fight showed me I’m ready for anything.”

For complete coverage of Bizier vs Lawson, be sure to check out our fight page.

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