Boxing fans have been treated to some cracking fights in the backend of 2018, with Madison Square Garden in New York the scene for what could be another blockbuster on Saturday, when Rocky Fielding stands toe-to-toe with Canelo Alvarez. Fielding, one of many British world champions, puts his WBA super-middleweight title on the line when he takes on the third ranked pound-for-pound fighter Canelo Alvarez, who is looking to become a multiple world champion in a third weight class. The world’s most credible boxing opinion Boxing News steps back into the ring with FansBet with their betting tips and our enhanced odds for another night of world title boxing.
Why Is Canelo Fighting Rocky Fielding?
Canelo Alvarez goes from beating the fearsome Gennady Golovkin in September to challenging Rocky Fielding this weekend and, by doing so, creates one of the unlikeliest showdowns of 2018. And make no mistake about it, this super-middleweight 12-rounder is purely of Team Canelo’s making.
But why would Canelo Alvarez, the most marketable fighter on the planet, switch his focus to a fighter like Fielding who will be largely unknown to punters in and around New York’s Madison Square Garden, where the bout is being staged?
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Well, first and foremost, because he can. He’s Canelo. And he has recently signed a five-year, 11-fight, deal with streaming service, DAZN worth a mind-boggling $365m. So, in essence, he can fight who he likes from here on in.
But Fielding hasn’t just been plucked from obscurity in a similar way that namesake Rocky Balboa was by Apollo Creed way back when. The Merserysider has a shiny belt. He can, thanks to the World Boxing Association’s shameless habit of creating several ‘world’ titles per division, call himself a ‘world’ champion. Try not to get hoodwinked into believing that.
Add to that the fact 31-year-old Fielding is a super-middleweight, a weight class in which Canelo is yet to rule, and the marketeers will – excuse the pun – have a field day with this one.
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Lessons From The Past
Canelo, still only 28, is vastly more experienced than Fielding on the world stage. His rivals include Golovkin, Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto.
He’s also savaged four British fighters. In 2011, Matthew Hatton was outpointed over 12 rounds and Ryan Rhodes halted in the 12th. Amir Khan and Liam Smith were wiped out in 2016. Each time the British fighter was not only outclassed – and in Khan’s case, outsized – but forced to fight away from home. Canelo is known to get his own way, you see.
Canelo, 50-1-2 (34 KOs), is a brilliant boxer in many ways. Watch any of his recent bouts for evidence of his supreme infighting skills, his underrated defensive wizardry and, in what could be key here, his crushing hooks to the body.
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Fielding’s back catalogue struggles to compete. But he’s only lost one of his 28 bouts and has rebuilt exceptionally since being knocked out in one round by Callum Smith in 2015. Fielding can offer genuine excuses for that performance, but the manner of that capitulation does not bode well for coping with the kind of pressure Canelo will bring.
However, it should be remembered that Fielding is broad and tall, he will outreach his opponent and be significantly taller (three-and-a-half inches). He also carries decent power as Tyron Zeuge and David Brophy (two recent and decent Fielding stoppage victims) can attest.
However, one might also want to observe the success John Ryder, similarly sized to Canelo, had before losing a contentious split decision to Fielding as recently as 2017.
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Canelo Alvarez v Rocky Fielding Betting Tips
Well, you will get supreme odds on a Fielding victory. And if you fancy Rocky to not only pull off the upset of the year, but the decade and the century, then – unlike other fights of this magnitude – you will get serious value just by picking him to win. No need to be any more specific than that.
However, if you do fancy Fielding it will surely come via stoppage. Canelo, a slow starter, is new at the weight and there is a tiny little chance he might get clumped by something in the opening rounds. And who knows, the referee might leap in and stop it too early or Canelo might injure himself and have to withdraw or a spaceship might come crashing through the roof of the arena and land on his head. This is boxing and, as we should know by now, anything can happen.
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But, seriously, unless Canelo is so consumed by self-confidence he has not prepared properly and finds the jump to super-middleweight too much to handle, there is only one winner here.
Fielding has perhaps been done a disservice within this preview but that is not intended as a slight on him, more a nod to what he’s up against. Fielding, who should be commended for taking this fight, is a top contender at 168lbs but he will need to improve immeasurably to turn back Canelo.
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The feeling is that the Mexican superstar will be forced to endure a few rounds of awkwardness yet he will be range-finding all the time. Stepping inside and out, gliding to the side while watching for mistakes and picking his spot.
By round four, Canelo’s body shots will have found their mark, and before the bell goes to signal the halfway point at the end of six, Fielding’s brave mission will have been violently curtailed.
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*odds subject to change.