Canelo making a mistake fighting Rocky Fielding
By Trevor McIntyre: Saul Canelo Alvarez and his promoter’s at Golden Boy Promotions’ decision to take a fight with WBA secondary super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding on December 15 has a lot of boxing fans angry and upset, calling the Mexican star a “cherry-picker” and “ducker” for his choice of opponent. However, this might be a tougher fight than some expect it to be. Fielding, 6’1″, will have a six inch height advantage over the 5’8″ Canelo, and a considerable reach advantage to go along with it.
Fielding is coming into the fight with Canelo with a six fight winning streak since his loss to Callum Smith. Fielding is a different fighter today than he was three years ago, and that’s bad news for Canelo. He seems to think Fielding is an easy mark, seeing that he lost to Smith by a 1st round knockout. Fielding is a lot better than what he showed in that fight.
The casual fans don’t rate Fielding, because they’ve never seen him fight and they’ve never heard of him. To be sure, Fielding it not the best fighter in the 168 pound weight class. He might not even be the 10th best at super middleweight, but that doesn’t matter. Fielding has size, power and a high work rate that could give Canelo fits, especially with him coming off of a tough fight against Gennady Golovkin.
“I’m very excited to announce my next fight,” Canelo said. “Next December 15th at the New York MSG. Taking a big challenge. I will fight for the world title at 168 pounds versus Rocky Fielding, the current WBA champion!”
This move by Golden Boy to match Canelo against Fielding is to get him a title without having to fight someone good to do it. They think Fielding is a weak enough champion for Canelo to beat him without getting battered and depleted the way that he would if he fought super middleweights like Callum Smith, David Benavidez or Jose Uzcategui. Those fighters would put some wear and tear on Canelo. However, Fielding is right up there with those guys in size and power. Fielding might not be quite as powerful as Smith, Benavidez or Uzcategui, but he hits close enough to where he can hurt Canelo each time he hits him. If there’s a weakness there in Canelo from having been hurt by GGG in his last fight, Fielding is someone that can exploit that.
Although Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya and president Eric Gomez believe that Canelo deserved the win in the rematch with Golovkin, they don’t deny that he took a lot of heavy blows in the fight. Canelo was hurt in the 10th and 11th rounds. They must feel that Fielding is beatable by Canelo. If they were deeply concerned, Fielding would be swerved like Jermall Charlo, Golovkin and the top super middleweight champions. They’re making a mistake in choosing Fielding, for the reason that he’s big, strong and capable of wearing down his opponents in a hurry. This fight could be a case of Golden Boy and Canelo underestimating Fielding, and not realizing how dangerous a bigger and stronger fighter like him can be. Canelo isn’t a huge puncher. He’s someone that needs his opponent to stand in place and take shots for 10 to 12 rounds before he gets a knockout. Fielding is the opposite. He goes his opponents with his his powerful hooks and takes them out with a flurry of sledgehammer blows.
Canelo is coming off a 12 round majority decision win over Gennady Golovkin in a fight on September 15 on HBO PPV, and he wanted to get slip in another fight before the end of the year. It was thought by fans that Canelo would defend his newly won WBA/WBC middleweight titles against Golden Boy Promotions fighter David Lemieux on December 15. To the surprise of a lot of people, Canelo is moving up to 168 to try and win another title against someone that he or his promoters at Golden Boy view as a soft target. They may be in for a bad surprise because Fielding is not an easy mark. He hits as hard as Golovkin, and he’s more aggressive.
Fielding, 31, has never established himself as a top talent super middleweight. Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) is the WBA secondary belt holder, but he did it in beating Tyron Zeuge. He didn’t beat a good champ. Fielding is still a good solid fighter with power, size and excellent chin. You can’t hold it against Fielding for his 1st round knockout loss to Callum Smith in 2015. That was earlier in Fielding’s career, and he just got caught with a hard left hook from Smith in the early going and he couldn’t recover. There’s nothing wrong with that. Fielding is a better fighter than what he showed against Smith. We saw how good Fielding is in his wins over Zeuge, John Ryder, Christopher Rebrasse, David Brophy and Brian Vera. Fielding knocked Brophy and Vera out quickly in both fights in stopping them in the 1st and 2nd rounds respectively. Fielding knocked Brophy out faster than George Groves, who stopped him in the 4th round in 2016. Groves is a harder puncher than Canelo, and possibly even Golovkin.
The fans wanted to see Canelo fight a rematch with Gennady Golovkin or face his WBC mandatory Jermall Charlo, who the World Boxing Council has now ordered to defend his interim WBC belt against GGG. The move by the WBC to order Golovkin to face Canelo’s mandatory Charlo rather than having him do it looks like a textbook example of a sanctioning protecting a popular star in the eyes of many boxing fans. The WBC made Canelo look like a pampered fighter with that move. It would have looked better for the WBC as an organization to have granted Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler’s wish of having a third fight ordered between him and Canelo. The WBC would have come off as not bending over backwards for Canelo by letting him swerve his WBC mandatory Jermall Charlo and GGG at the same time.
It works well for Fielding to fight Canelo, because even if he loses the fight, he’ll walk away with a lot of money if the fight winds up televised on pay-per-view in the U.S. It reportedly won’t be on PPV in the UK, according to Fielding’s promoter Eddie Hearn. He says Canelo-Fielding will be televised on Sky Sports. He’s not sure yet whether Canelo will agree to sign with him to has the fight streamed on DAZN, but he’s hoping that’ll be the case. If the fight winds up on PPV, then Fielding could walk away with $3 million and Canelo considerably more. The money that Fielding gets to fight Canelo will make it well worth it for him if he loses his belt.
This decision by Canelo to fight Fields comes at a time just after the WBC ordered his last opponent Gennady Golovkin to fight his WBC mandatory Jermall Charlo. The WBC gave Canelo a voluntary defense and ordered GGG to take the tough fight against Charlo.
Canelo’ loyal boxing fans don’t seem to mind that he’s fighting a no-name super middleweight. These fans will gladly watch Canelo on December 15 and continue to empower him to face whoever he wishes.