By Mark Elezaj
This Saturday night, live from “The Mecca Of Boxing” Madison Square Garden in New York City, Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) will be looking to join a select list of Mexican boxers by becoming a three-division world champion with a victory over Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) for the WBA Super Middleweight World Title. (Photos by Ed Mulholland).
Canelo believes that stepping up to 168 pounds to face Fielding is risky, but insists he will be going for the knockout victory Saturday.
“That’s the risk. To be moving up in weight to fight someone who’s used to fighting stronger fighters, used to taking stronger punches,” Alvarez told Omnisport. “I know the challenge, but I like the challenge and I’m happy for it.”
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya said he is “a little worried” for Canelo to step into the ring with Fielding.
“The fact he is moving up in weight is dangerous,” said De la Hoya. “Fielding is naturally big.”
“If a fighter feels comfortable that he will win easily, against a guy who no-one knows, it can be very dangerous.
“Canelo has to be sharp, focused and in shape, because Rocky is coming in with everything and has nothing to lose.
Canelo feels that this fight will be a tough one with a bad outcome as a possibility if he’s not on his A-game inside the ring.
“Perhaps many don’t give the credit to Fielding that he deserves, but he is a world champion for a reason,” Canelo said. “I know the challenge that I have in front of me. I know I have a tough fight, but I like the challenge.”
“I feel great, excited and soaking it all up. This is my first time doing such a big fight week and I’m really enjoying it. People are talking a lot about the size difference, and I have to make that a factor on Saturday night because I need to use every advantage that I’ve got. It’s my weight division. I’ve been at Super Middleweight for a long time,” Fielding said.
“I make the weight well and he’s stepping up. The bookmakers are going to lose money – I was the underdog in Germany against a young and unbeaten fighter in his 4th defense and blasted him away in five rounds to take home the title. I perform better when I the underdog and everyone is against me. I thrive on that.”
“I have prepared myself to be at my best on the night and if I need to bite down on the gumshield and fight it out. I know I can do that. When people come to KO me, that’s when I catch them off-guard and get the KO myself. But Canelo is an experienced and clever fight that doesn’t make many mistakes, so the things that we’re working on in camp will pay off on Saturday night.”
There have only been a few Mexican fighters to become three-division world champions, Julio Cesar Chavez, Erik “El Terrible” Morales, Marco Antonio “The Baby-Faced Assassin” Barrera and Jorge “El Travieso” Arce. If Canelo can beat Fielding this Saturday night, not only will he join the legends on this list, but he would be the first Mexican fighter to become a three-division world champion in a weight class above 140 pounds.
The Canelo vs Fielding fight is the first of Alvarez’s 11-fight, $365 million deal with sports streaming service DAZN. I see Canelo winning the fight by TKO in the middle rounds.
~The Fighting Voice~