Fielding vs Canelo: Can Rocky from Stocky Pull Off a Christmas Miracle?
December 13, 2018
What is it with these scousers taking on the most daunting challenges that boxing has to offer?
Weeks after Tony Bellew dared to be great by challenging pound-for-pound contender Oleksandr Usyk for all of the cruiserweight belts, fellow Liverpudlian Rocky Fielding travels to New York to fight the biggest name in the sport in Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
The Madison Square Garden event is the latest in a string of top-quality bouts and you can follow all of the latest boxing odds with Betting Circle.
Fielding himself accepts that a monumental task awaits, but insists that he isn’t there to make up the numbers – he is the defending champion after all.
Can he become the first man to defeat Canelo since Floyd Mayweather in 2013? Rocky himself has admitted that he isn’t sure of the answer to that, so how can anyone else be?
One thing is for sure, he has much more than the puncher’s chance that a lot of boxing experts are giving him.
Making a Case For a Real-life Rocky Story
There is no denying it, Canelo is one of the best boxers on the planet right now. Need proof? Take a look at the 12th round that the Mexican shared with Gennady Golovkin in September. Needing a win to claim victory, Alvarez upped his work rate after 11 gruelling rounds to snatch the decision from ‘GGG’ at the second time of asking.
The 28-year old unified the middleweight division with that Las Vegas win, but now steps up to super-middleweight in an attempt to become a three-weight world champion.
This isn’t the first time that he has challenged a scouser for their belt, in 2016 Canelo stopped Liam Smith in Texas to claim his WBC super welterweight title.
However, Fielding shouldn’t be disheartened by that performance, quite the opposite in fact. The very fact that Canelo was able to win a world title at super welterweight goes to show that he is going to be small at the super middleweight threshold.
Canelo isn’t exactly big at middleweight, arguably his natural division, and the face-off pictures in the build up to the Manhattan bout show just how much he is giving away in stature to the current WBA super middleweight king.
In fact, Fielding began his professional career with three victories at light heavyweight, a good four weight classes above the super welterweight division that Canelo has campaigned at.
Dropping down a division to take part in the Super Middleweight Prizefighter Series, he would become the first boxer in a Prizefighter series to win the tournament with three stoppage victories, announcing himself as a heavy-handed prospect.
That reputation has remained ever since, and Fielding has done brilliantly to recover from a 2015 first-round knockout defeat at the hands of fellow Liverpudlian Callum Smith to lift a world title just six fights later.
In July of this year, Rocky travelled to Germany to challenge Tyron Zeuge for his WBA belt and dropped the home fighter in the fifth before his corner threw the towel in.
Zeuge is no Canelo, that’s for sure. He was, however, undefeated in his 23 bouts before facing Fielding and the victory completed a stunning comeback for the Merseyside man.
Describing his world title success as a “dream”, defeating Canelo inside the ‘Mecca of Boxing’ would propel ‘Rocky from Stocky’ to superstardom.
Rocky’s Reach Advantage Could be the Difference
In 53 professional bouts stretching over a 13-year period, it’s difficult to pinpoint one moment where Alvarez has been hurt, never mind hit the canvas.
Take into consideration that his last two fights came against one of the hardest single-punching names in the sport in Golovkin, and it is clear that we are dealing with a fighter with a granite chin.
In the 24 rounds that Canelo and GGG shared a ring, both landed some clean power punches that would have rendered most opponents unconscious.
Both men showed superhuman strength to absorb some of the punches that they did and, despite possessing destructive punch power, Fielding will have to land the best punch of his career to force the stoppage.
His best bet may be to box behind his jab, with a reach advantage of almost five inches. Fielding doesn’t possess the boxing IQ of Golovkin, but is five years younger than the Kazakhstani, and should have the legs to box behind his reach for the distance – something that 36-year old GGG just couldn’t do against Alvarez.
We’ve all seen the pictures of Fielding standing outside of the Madison Square Garden with the hashtag #OneDay. He also posed for a selfie with his now rival in a ringside snap at a fight night in Belfast last November.
Now, three years on from that snap outside the iconic arena that he is now headlining at, the time has arrived for ‘Rocky from Stocky’ to turn his dreams into reality.
His days of asking for selfies with the stars of the sport are behind him. Pull off this early Christmas miracle, and he becomes the main attraction.
Gary has been writing for a variety of well-respected media outlets for over a decade. His work has been published on websites such as The Mirror, Manchester Evening News and the Liverpool Echo. Formerly a reporter with the world’s largest football website in Goal.com, Gary is a boxing fanatic and previously ran his own boxing column for Betfred. He used to own an Everton fansite, but his love affair with his beloved Toffees is close to coming unstuck.