Boxing

Canada's Bizier takes two minor titles in eight-round win

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The Canadian Press
2/8/2013 11:03:01 PM
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MONTREAL -- Kevin Bizier had an easier night than he thought when he stepped into the ring with former world champion Nate Campbell.

The undefeated Bizier (20-0) pounded the 40-year-old Campbell for eight rounds for a TKO victory in his biggest bout to date on Friday night at the Bell Centre.

Campbell, who said he aggravated an old back injury and wasn't able to fight back effectively, did not come out for the ninth round of the scheduled 12-round contest and his corner waived to referee Marlon B. Wright that the bout was over.

"It was a pretty difficult fight, but we had a good game plan," said Bizier, of St. Emile, Que., who retained his minor NAFA title and added the vacant IBF Continental belt. "We were wary of his right hand but he didn't throw many big rights.

"I kept my hands high and went with body shots from the start and that worked. He stopped because it hurt too much."

It was the 28-year-old's first time as a main event fighter and he got international exposure on ESPN's Friday Night Fights.

Bizier is right handed, but it was repeated hooks to the body and uppercuts with the left hand that did most of the scoring.

Promoter Yvon Michel said it was time for Bizier to take on bigger opponents and hopes to have him on a fight card in March or in May.

Campbell was less impressed.

"We were holding up and wrestling in the second and I re-injured my back," said the Jacksonville, Fla. fighter who battled back trouble for much of his career. "That's why I stopped jabbing.

"I let him come in and I couldn't extend my body. I had some decent shots, but I couldn't hurt him. He's a big kid, but he's not a tremendous puncher. When he fights a real welterweight, he's going to catch it."

Campbell took the fight on two week's notice after the original opponent, Englishman John O'Donnell, injured a hand in training.

Campbell is the former unified lightweight champion who has taken on most of the top fighters in his division. He recently scored an upset win in the Dominican Republic against highly touted contender Victor Cayo.

But he was never in it against Bizier, who looked to win every round.

"It was easier than I thought, maybe," said Bizier.

Michel called it a "very disciplined performance.

"He wasn't trying to tear his opponent's head off. Campbell says he hurt his back, but I'm sure the lefts Kevin gave him contributed to him quitting."

The co-feature saw an upset of sorts as Baha Laham (11-0-1) of Montreal scored a 10-round majority decision over Tyler Asselstine (12-1) of Toronto.

Both fighters moved up from their normal weight classes to fight at lightweight (135 pounds), although Asselstine made the bigger jump from featherweight and may have paid for it.

Asselstine was busier and looked to land more punches, but Laham bowed his head and stayed tight to his opponent, scoring repeatedly from the inside.

One judge scored it a draw and two gave it to Laham by close decision. Opinion in the media seats was split. The Canadian Press had it 97-93 for Asselstine.

There was debatable judging early as portly crowd-pleaser Stephane (Brutus) Tessier (3-30-2) lost a four-round split decision to Steve Harvey (3-1), despite having his fellow Montreal resident in trouble twice. The heavily bleeding Harvey looked to be saved by the bell in the final round as Tessier pounded him in a neutral corner.

The heavyweight Tessier has not won in 31 fights since Oct. 1, 2005, when he scored a majority decision over Patrick Cote of Rimouski, Que. It was the one and only pro boxing match for Cote, who has since gone on to a mixed martial arts career in the UFC.

Didier Bence (7-0) was rocked badly in the first round by a body shot and looked in trouble again in the final two rounds of a six-rounder with Joey (Polish Thunder) Dawejko (7-2-2) of Philadelphia, but somehow the Montreal heavyweight got the judges' unanimous decision.

Steve Rolls (3-0) of Toronto scored a unanimous decision over Ahmad Selemani (0-8) of Quebec City in a four-round super-middleweight bout.

Michael Gadbois (9-0) of St. Hyacinthe, Que., scored a bloody six-round majority decision over Polish super-featherweight Krzysztof Rogowski (5-1), while Marc (Gwapo) Pagcaliwangan (3-0) of London, Ont., won by disqualification in the first round over a disinterested looking Laszlo Fekete of Hungary.

Boxing (Photo: Rick Stewart/Allsport)

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(Photo: Rick Stewart/Allsport)
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