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Bizier to defend NABA welterweight title against Campbell

The Canadian Press

1/31/2013 5:51:48 PM

MONTREAL -- Kevin Bizier will be up against a well-travelled veteran when he steps into the Bell Centre ring against 40-year-old Nate Campbell.

Bizier (19-0) will face Campbell (36-9-1) on Feb. 8 in a bout to be televised in the United States on ESPN2's Friday Night Fights.

The 28-year-old from Quebec City was originally scheduled to face Englishman John O'Donnell (27-2), who was forced to pull out after fracturing his left hand in training.

Promoter Yvon Michel said Thursday that beating Campbell is key to Bizier's future in the 147-pound division.

Campbell, of Jacksonville, Fla., held the IBF, WBA and WBO titles in 2008 and 2009. Despite his age, he has won his last two bouts, including a ninth-round stoppage of contender Victor Cayo in March.

"Kevin wanted a known opponent and that's what he's getting in Campbell," Michel said in a statement. "Only a small percentage of boxers become world champion and only the exceptional ones become unified champions like Campbell.

"This is Kevin's chance to prove that he belongs among the elite in the division."

Bizier holds the minor NABA title.

"I'm glad for the chance to show everybody that I'm ready for the big leagues," he said.

The co-feature has Toronto super-featherweight Tyler Asselstine (12-0) in what should be a tough 10-rounder with Joel Diaz (11-0) of Palmdale, Calif.

The card also has 36-year-old Joachim Alcine (33-3-1) of Laval, Que., the former WBA light middleweight champion, against 33-year-old David Toribio (19-14-0) of the Dominican Republic.

Alcine was knocked out in the first round by Matthew Macklin in his last outing Sept. 15 in Las Vegas.

Heavyweight Didier Bence (6-0) of Montreal and super-featherweight Kevin Lavallee of Ste-Adele, Que., will also be on the card.

Welterweight is a hot division with stars like Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley. Canada has a handful of promising 147-pound contenders with Bizier, Antonin Decarie (27-1) of Laval, Que., Phil Lo Greco (25-0) of Toronto, Mikael Zewski (18-0) of Trois-Rivieres, Que. and Ionut (Jojo) Dan (30-2) of Montreal.