Fields Takes a tumble
By Tom Donelson
There is a time that a fighter has to find out exactly how good he is and make that next step. For years, Tye Fields have toiled in the underground of boxing; feasting upon inferior competition and building up his record. With one lost on his resume (that to an undistinguished Jeff Ford); Fields had the record that often make promoters drool. Most boxing pundits and promoters knew that Fields was a limited fighter with limited skills but being 6’9” and a glossy knockout record added to Fields appeal.
Against Monte Barrett, he was facing his first big name fighter and this would be that test that team Fields needed. Barrett is a boxer-puncher closer to the end of his career and at 37, there are not too many tomorrows left for big pay days. Barrett had fought fighters like Joe Mesi, when he was a leading contender and Nikolay Valuev. As a fighter, Barrett was not a top ten heavyweight but a worthy opponent and even at this stage of his career; the perfect test for Fields.
Fields game plan was to overwhelm Barrett. When Barrett faced the bigger Nickolay Valuev, he was beleaguered by the Russian size and never used his superior skills. In Barrett fight with Valuev, size defeated skills. Fields attempted the same strategy. Wear Barrett down like Valuev did but there was one flaw with Fields game plan, Fields did not even have Valuev skills. After hurting Barrett with a hook to the body, Fields moved forward and forced his opponent to the rope. Barrett counterattacked off the rope and nailed Fields with a right that sent the man they call “Big Sky” backwards.
Barrett nailed Fields with combinations that included three more straight rights to Fields head. Fields went down and gamely got up at nine but it was obvious that it all over. Referee Kenny Bayless stopped the fight and in just 57 seconds, Fields’ career suffered a severe setback.
For Fields, there will be no dreams of heavyweight titles or even big PPV events. Instead it is back to the Jeff Fords of the world and rebuilt his reputation as “Big Sky.” This can’t be dismissed as a anomaly in a long career that covered 43 fights but a test that showed that Tye Fields is not a top ten Heavyweight, much less a contender.
So what are Fields options? For fighter like Fields, boxing is his way to make a living and he is still good enough to beat most fighters and make ends meet. Occasional headline on a Versus televised card will allow him to keep his career but there will be a time where reality sets in. There will be no Heavyweight title and every fighter must look at their goals and decide, is it worth the punishment to keep going? If the goal is to capture a heavyweight championship, the dream is over and it ended the second that Fields hit the canvas. 57 seconds in Las Vegas ended the opportunity to win a title. Fields need to retire, if his goal is strictly to win a heavyweight championship.
If the goal is to compete and earn a living; Fields can still do that. He is enough of draw to attract a crowd in regional events in Las Vegas and beyond. The bottom line is that Fields must consider what his goal is.
As for Monte Barrett, he gets on more chance for a big money fight. Fights like Cruiserweight champion David Haye are certainly viable options and while Barrett is not marching toward a share of the heavyweight championship; he does have the ability to fight prospects and challengers like Haye. Barrett is a gate keeper for Cruiserweights who want to know if they are cut out to be heavyweights or fight up and coming prospects. He still has a viable career and viable options.