IBF welterweight champion, Kell Brook, 35-0 (24), will face mandatory challenger, Kevin Bizier, 25-2 (17), in the UK ahead of a potential summer showdown with old rival, Amir Khan.
Brook had been due to make a second voluntary defence of his title against tricky, rough-house Argentine, Diego Chaves last October, before a rib injury forced him out of the clash, and after the IBF ordered the Bizier mandatory, Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn was this week able to reach a deal to stage it with Group MGM CEO, Yvon Michel, ahead of a scheduled purse-bid.
An underwhelming necessity, Canada’s Bizier last boxed in November, retiring Frederick Lawson after ten rounds on the Premier Boxing Champions platform in the US, and will enter a considerable underdog against a “Special One” who is now in need of a showcase performance against a top divisional name in order to enhance his championship credentials. His career-best performance remains his title winning, majority decision effort over the highly regarded Shawn Porter in California, in August ’14, and after a 2015 that saw the effortless disposal of mandatory challenger Jo Jo Dan in February, and a sixth round stoppage of the over-matched Frankie Gavin in May, a mega-money, all-UK grudge match with old rival Khan in the summer would be a perfect bolster and a fantastic antidote to much of the antipathy that is surrounding this maligned, though essential, Bizier defence.
Whether Khan, who has cited Brook’s level of opposition as a reason not to fight him in the past, will be on board with the summer showdown is entirely speculative, although the former 140lbs champion is himself running out of big-money options, having lost out on the chance to fight both Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, boxing just the once last year against Chris Algieri. In short, it’s looking increasingly like the two of them need each other to make big money and guarantee the fans the second UK super-fight of 2016. We can only hope.
An official announcement on the date and venue for Brook-Bizier will follow later this week.