Fredrick Lawson (24-0, 20 KOs) was upset by Kevin Bizier (24-2, 16 KOs) in an IBF welterweight title eliminator. Lawson’s biggest problem besides not matching Bizier for power or activity was his tendency to lean over his front foot.
This subsequently always kept Lawson in punching range whenever he tried to get off. After both fighters went toe-to-toe in the opening round, Lawson’s back was often toward the ropes as Bizier bossed the action around the ring.
Lawson was later hurt and dropped by a right hand in round 5 and was never able to turn the momentum around. Lawson’s trainer Abel Sanchez stopped the fight at the conclusion of round 10 because he believed his fighter’s jaw was broken.
The announced official time of the stoppage was 2:59, though common sense would dictate 3 full minutes. Bizier now becomes the mandatory challenger for IBF champion Kell Brook. Brook bested the only man to beat Bizier, Jo Jo Dan, with relative ease earlier this year.
In the opening bout of the night, Walter Castillo (26-3, 19 KOs) was very lucky to get a draw against Keita Obara (15-1, 14 KOs) in an IBF junior welterweight eliminator.
Newly crowned IBF champion Eduard Troyanovsky probably wasn’t sweating a fight with either guy, but Obara arguably pitched a shutout from round 3 onward. Obara showed exceptional footwork and outpunched Castillo with better speed and combinations.
Castillo exposed flaws in Obara’s defense but simply did not land enough or more devastatingly. The official scorecards read 115-113 for Obara and 114-114 (x2).