Matt Bevan (@MBevs68)
Kell Brook paved the way for a huge unification fight in the welterweight division, after making the third defence of his IBF welterweight title, blitzing a helpless Kevin Bizier inside two rounds in front of a passionate home crowd at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield.
Brook unleashed a barrage of shots that dropped Bizier, who was desperate for a way out after getting buzzed during the first round, before a second burst put him down for good to end the brave Canadian’s challenge. Bizier had worked his towards the mandatory position, but was well out of his depth.
With the win, “The Special One” will now be focusing on either a trip across the pond to secure the big fight he desperately craves, although his promoter Eddie Hearn remains confident that he can bring the likes of WBO champion Jessie Vargas or Timothy Bradley to Bramall Lane, the home of Brook’s beloved Sheffield United.
Brook will celebrate his success before a potential return in July, but the need for a huge Summer showdown is now at all time high. The Sheffield star has even admitted he is considering a move up to light-middle if he can’t secure a dream clash with one of his rivals at 147lbs.
He improved his record to 36-0, 25KO’s with this win, whilst Bizier drops to 25-3, 17KO’s. Brook succeeded in adding another stoppage to his highlight reel and made a statement that will gain some attention over in States. Could his luck finally be in?
Luke Campbell was also victorious inside two rounds, clinically dispatching Gary Sykes with a calculated finish to win the previously vacant Commonwealth lightweight title.
It was the Hull man’s first fight since his massive setback in December, where he was dropped and lost to Yvan Mendy in a huge surprise. However, he has now joined forces with highly respected trainer Jorge Rubio and appears to be getting back towards his best.
It was a nip and tuck opening round which could have gone either way, before Campbell dropped his Dewsbury rival late in the second. The 2012 Olympic gold medalist pounced on his opportunity and ruthlessly finished the job to regain some of his lost confidence and a new title to go with it.
Andy Townend, the “KO Kid” from Barnsley demolished Craig Poxton in a round to defend his English super-featherweight title. Townend obliterated his smaller opponent with some monstrous right hand bombs that were too much for Poxton to withstand. He is now eyeing up a shot at the Commonwealth title, for which he is mandatory, or the British title.
Heavyweight David “The White Rhino” Allen also picked up a win on the undercard, when his opponent Jason Gavern quit on his stool at the end of the fourth. It was a shambolic encounter which was embarrassing to watch and did nothing to help Allen’s reputation. Gavern was toeing the line and ready to be disqualified when he quit, so make of that what you will.
Adam Etches returned to the scene of his first loss as a pro 12 months ago to exorcise his demons and dominate Zoltan Sera in four rounds. The Hungarian was dropped on a few occasions, before he was saved from more punishment by the referee.
Ingle Gym fighter Leigh Wood claimed the Midlands Area featherweight crown, as he had too much for Lee Glover. Wood destroyed Glover in the second round with a sickening flurry to win the belt, his first as a pro, and catapult him up the domestic rankings.
His gym mate Jordan Gill was a points winner, 58-55, over Chris Adaway, who always gives his opponent trouble. “The Thrill” looked excellent at times, but allowed Adaway to land too often, as he occasionally took his eye off the ball.
Finally there was an impressive stoppage victory for Lee Appleyard, who was too much for Josh Baillie, stopping him in the third of a fight scheduled for six, whilst Irishman Dean Byrne was a bit too clever and experienced for Jamie “Ginger Rocket” Robinson, pipping him to a deserved 58-57 decision.