Kell Brook (35-0, 24 KOs) will face off against his mandatory challenger Kevin Bizier (25-2, 17 KOs) for the IBF welterweight crown at the Sheffield Arena on March 26th.
Brook told SkySports.com “I’m delighted to be back fighting at the Sheffield Arena again. While I was gutted to miss out on fighting in October, I’ve fully recovered from the injury and feel stronger than ever. I cannot wait to put on another explosive performance for my hometown fans and prove I am the best 147-pound fighter on the planet”.
Unfortunately for Brook this bout has caused him to receive a lot of criticism over the past few weeks as fans are keen to see him fight the best in the division. Whilst, Bizier is ranked number one by the IBF he is regarded as a soft-touch by many. However, Bizier is the mandatory challenger and whilst it may be unclear why the IBF have decided to mandate such an uneven bout the blame for such a mismatch does not lay with Kell Brook.
Yes, it’s a shame a more enticing match-up was not made by the IBF but perhaps the most disappointing aspect of this bout is that, in Bizier, we have someone who has lost twice to Jo Jo Dan, who Brook already dismissed and did so with relative ease.
Some of the criticism surrounding this bout is undoubtedly the result of casual fans, who are unaware that Bizier is a mandatory and are simply keen to see Brook fight the very best fighters the welterweight division has to offer.
However, much of the dismay is a result of Brook constantly fighting average opponents. In 35 outings Brook has faced only one world class opponent in Shawn Porter which was regarded by many as a messy affair. It was a bout filled with a disgraceful amount of clinching by Brook, which went unpunished.
Once Brook has dismantled Bizier it will be very interesting to see which way he goes. If the Khan fight cannot be made this year then Brook has a number of choices:
- Fight a top level opponent before fighting Errol Spence Jr. as his next mandatory
- Fight another journeyman or gatekeeper before fighting Errol Spence Jr. as his next mandatory
- Vacate title, avoid Spence, move up to 154lbs and fight a journeyman or gatekeeper.
If I were a betting man then number three would seem like a safe bet but as a fan I would love to see number one happen if the Khan fight cannot be made.