This Friday’s segment of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights is coming live from the Bell Centre in Montreal, with the main event featuring Canada’s own undefeated welterweight Kevin Bizier going to battle with former champion and ring veteran Nate Campbell.
Bizier (19-0, 13 KO) was originally scheduled to throw hands with John O’Donnell, but the English fighter suffered a broken hand during training and had to pull out of the fight.
Turning 40 last year, the former unified lightweight champion Campbell (36-9-1, 26 KO) stepped between the ropes twice in 2012, winning both bouts. Despite his age, and despite taking the fight against the young Canadian up-and-coming prospect on two weeks’ notice, Campbell is still a dangerous opponent, and by far the toughest challenge of Bizier’s career.
About the chance to fight Campbell, Bizier shared, “I’m thrilled about this opportunity to show everyone that I’m ready for the big leagues. I know Campbell is experienced and has been a great champion. Obviously, preparing for a 5’11” left and now fighting a 5’7” right-handed opponent has forced me to make several adjustments but, without a doubt, it will not prevent me from shining and emerging victorious with fashion.”
Through his extensive and decorated career Campbell has stood fought wars with former and current world champions, and has a wealth of experience on his side coming into the fight against the 28-year-old Canadian.
This is a giant step for Bizier. In his last trip between the ropes, he won a unanimous decision over Doel Carrasquillo who is 17-23-1. He has rolled through the tomato cans and outfought the journeymen who his management team has placed in front of him, but Friday night will be indicative of what kind of skills he really possesses.
At some point in the fight he will find himself in danger against Campbell, who will be bringing fast hands, knockout power and good, hard conditioning into the ring with him. Bizier will need to stay on his game plan—which had drastically changed upon the replacement of O’Donnell with Campbell—and avoid having the bout turn into a dogfight.
Campbell has more wins than Bizier does fights, but although experience is against him, Bizier knows what a win over the former unified champion will do for his career. Fighters dream about the opportunity to fight for a world title from the first time they pick up a jump rope at the gym; Campbell is the obstacle standing in front of Bizier’s journey to work his way towards a world championship fight.
Friday night fans will see if the over the hill ex-champion has another big performance in him, or if a new young buck is about to emerge in the division.
The action begins live on ESPN 2 at 9 p.m. Eastern this Friday, Feb. 8.