- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Canadian welterweight Kevin Bizier got a new opponent Thursday for his ESPN2 "Friday Night Fights" main event on Feb. 8: former unified lightweight titlist Nate Campbell.
Bizier (19-0, 13 KOs) and Campbell (36-9-1, 26 KOs) will meet in the scheduled 12-round bout at the Bell Centre in Montreal, where Bizier is a crowd favorite.
Campbell is a late replacement for England's John O'Donnell (27-2, 11 KOs), who broke his left hand while training last weekend, forcing promoter Yvon Michel to scramble for a new opponent.
"I'm thrilled about this opportunity to show everyone that I'm ready for the big leagues. I know Campbell is experienced and has been a great champion," Bizier said. "Obviously, preparing for a 5-foot-11 lefty (O'Donnell) and now fighting a 5-7 right-handed opponent (Campbell) has forced me to make several adjustments but, without a doubt, it will not prevent me from shining and emerging victorious with fashion."
Michel had already scrambled once before when the original main event of middleweight David Lemieux against Jose Miguel Torres fell apart a few weeks ago
after Lemieux fractured his right hand in training.
Campbell, 40, of Jacksonville, Fla., won three lightweight belts in an upset of Juan Diaz in 2008, but never made a title defense because he was stripped before his next fight 11 months later for being overweight against challenger Ali Funeka. Campbell won what became a nontitle bout but is 3-4 with a no contest since, including a brief retirement.
However, Campbell, who is moving up to welterweight, has won two bouts in a row, an upset ninth-round knockout of junior welterweight contender Victor Cayo in March and an eight-round decision against Krzysztof Szot in June in Poland on a Roy Jones Jr. undercard.
"Kevin wanted an opponent of notoriety and reputation with a strong will like Campbell," Michel said. "Only a small percentage of boxers become world champions and a few exceptional boxers become unified world champions like Campbell. The table is set in Quebec on Feb. 8, and he was offered the chance to prove he belongs among the elite of the talented welterweight division."
Also on the card in the co-feature: Ottawa junior lightweight Tyler Asselstine (12-0-0, 7 KOs) will fight fellow prospect Joel Diaz (11 -0, 10 KOs) of Palmdale, Calif.
The card also will include former junior middleweight titlist Joachim Alcine (33-3-1, 19 KOs) of Quebec against Miami journeyman David Toribio (19-14, 12 KOs). Alcine, 36, is trying to keep his career alive after going 1-2-1 in his last three fights. Both losses came via brutal first-round knockout, including his last fight against middleweight contender Matthew Macklin on Sept. 15 on the Sergio Martinez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. undercard.