By Scott Gilfoid: Once IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook (35-0, 24 KOs) takes care of business this Saturday night against the latest of the IBF’s usual less impress #1 ranked contenders, Brook will be looking to get a career-defining fight against the likes of Danny Garcia, Jessie Vargas, Tim Bradley or Manny Pacquiao later this year.
Brook isn’t mentioning Keith Thurman as one of the guys that he wants to fight despite the fact that he’s the WBA champion and wisely recognized as currently the best fighter in the 147lb division. I wonder why Brook isn’t mentioning Thurman as one of the guys he wants to fight?
Before Brook can get his dream fight against one of the other talents, he needs to beat his mandatory challenger Kevin Bizier (25-2, 17 KOs) this Saturday night on March 26 at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, UK.
You hate to say that the 31-year-old Bizier is a no hoper, but I think that’s pretty much the case. The IBF has been doing the 30-year-old Brook a huge favor since he won the IBF crown in 2014 by first ranking Jo Jo Dan as his #1 IBF mandatory in 2015, and now ranking Bizier as Brook’s #1 mandatory challenger in 2016. If you’re familiar at all with boxing, you’ll know that there are a HECK of a lot better contenders in the 147lb division than Jo Jo Dan and Bizier.
I don’t know what’s going on with the IBF, but I think it’s a race to the bottom with them when it comes to their ranking system. They seem to have their rankings completely upside down by picking guys that are arguably not even top 15 contender worthy fighters at putting them at No.1. In the meantime, you have the talents like Errol Spence and Shawn Porter who are ranked below Bizier. Does that make sense to you?
I’ve seen a number of Bizier’s fights in the past, and I cannot for the life of me understand why the IBF ranked him No.1 with their organization. He just looks mediocre to me. Like I was saying, the IBF has done Brook an incredible favor lately by installing Jo Jo Dan and then Bizier as his mandatory challengers. The oddball ranking the IBF has done recently have arguably probably kept Brook as the champion a year longer than he otherwise would have been. Had the IBF ranked Errol Spence or Porter as Brook’s mandatory challenger in 2015 and 2016, I think Brook would be back at the contender status a long time ago, as he would have likely been whipped by Spence.
If there was anything left of Brook after the Spence fight, Porter would now be finishing him off on March 26.
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you; Porter has learned to fight through the clinches. Brook used nonstop clinching to nullify Porter’s inside fighting game in their fight in 2014, and the referee let Brook hold repeatedly without taking points off or disqualifying him, which is pretty much what he should have done had he been on his J-O-B on that night. None the less, Porter now knows how to fight through the clinches, so that fighters like Brook can’t look to clinch him 10 to 15 times per round to keep him from fighting on the inside.
“They have to take note because I’m not that fighter who was in the shadows before, I am the champion, I am now No.1,” said Brook to the mirror.co.uk. “It is a case of anyone, anytime, anywhere. We were very close to getting the fight the world has been waiting for, with me and that kid from Bolton [Khan], but that’s not going to happen this summer.”
I don’t think Brook is going to be able to impress the top fighters by beating Bizier. That’s just a typical mismatch that we’ve seen Brook involved with during his 12-year pro career. To really impress the boxing world, Brook is going to need to be able to beat the likes of Spence and Porter WITHOUT clinching all night long. In other words, Brook is going to need to beat them in a one on one fight by skillfully beating them rather than using spoiling tactics like holding, which is what we saw from Brook in his fight against Porter. That was such an awful fight to watch. I can’t remember seeing a fight where one guy got away with the kind of holding that Brook did against Porter. I actually felt sorry for Porter in that fight because he was being grabbed all night long, and he looked helpless to stop it.
“I’m not taking anything away from Kevin Bizier, but he is not an A-class fighter in my eyes,” said Brook.
Bizier earned he #1 spot with the IBF by beating fringe contender Fredrick Lawson last November. No long before that, Bizier was TWICE beaten by Jo Jo Dan. How losing to Jo Joe Dan twice and beating Lawson earned Bizier the #1 spot with the IBF is the good question. I can’t really understand what the IBF was thinking when they decided to give Bizier the top ranking after a couple of losses to Jo Jo and then a win over Lawson and some guy named Fouad El Massoudi.