By Charles Jay
If you are getting ready to take advantage of the offer from DAZN to watch this Saturday night’s WBA super middleweight title fight between Canelo Alvarez and Rocky Fielding, you may not be all that familiar with one or both of the participants. So we’ve prepared something of a primer on this weekend’s festivities, for the benefit of those who may want to evaluate the match, for fun or profit:
1) Rocky Fielding actually started out his career as a light heavyweight, and moved down to the super middleweight class in order to participate in a British reality TV show called “Prizefighter.” He never got below 168 points until his 12th pro fight. Most often he was over that weight limit, and in fact as recently as 2013 he was 179 pounds for his fight with Darren McKenna.
2) Canelo Alvarez’s highest weight was 164 pounds, for his fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May 2017. Only eight months before that, he was 154 pounds for a bout against Liam Smith, and he had been in the junior middleweight class and below that in all his previous fights.
3) The listed height of Fielding is 6-foot-1, while Canelo is officially 5-foot-9, although some people believe the difference may be even bigger than that. The point to these references to height and weight is that Fielding is the naturally bigger man, and the disparity between them may become magnified after they have both weighed in.
3) Neither of these fighters made an extraordinary impact as an amateur, whether it was on the national or international stage. Fielding turned pro at the age of 23, and he was 171 pounds at the time (light heavyweight). Alvarez was not yet 16 years of age when he became a professional, and he weighed only 139 pounds (junior welterweight).
4) Before winning the WBA “Regular” champion at 168 pounds, Fielding had held a number of other titles, including the English and Commonwealth championships in the super middleweight division, as well as the WBA Intercontinental title.
5) When he beat Tyron Luege for the WBA world crown on a fifth-round TKO (July 14 of this year), Fielding defeated someone who went into the fight with a 22-0-1 record. It was his second try at a world championship; his lone loss came in an attempt to win the WBC “Silver” title against Callum Smith (November 2015), as he was stopped in the first round.
6) Alvarez currently holds the WBC and WBA “Super” titles at middleweight. As has been mentioned, Fielding is the “regular” WBA champ at 168 pounds. The “super” champ at super middleweight (don’t get confused) as recognized by the WBA, is the aforementioned Callum Smith, who dealt Fielding his only pro loss.
7) Canelo Alvarez has fought fourteen (14) opponents who have been recognized as world champions by one of the four major sanctioning organizations (WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF). They are: Gennady Golovkin, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Josesito Lopez, Shane Mosley, Kermit Cintron, Lovemore N’Dou, Carlos Baldomir, Miguel Vasquez, Liam Smith (brother of Callum Smith, who KO’d Fielding) and of course, Floyd Mayweather Jr., who gave him his only loss. Fielding has fought two world champions – Luege and Callum Smith.
8) Fielding will be fighting for the first time in the United States and only the second time outside of the United Kingdom. His WBA title victory over Luege took place in Germany.
9) Canelo’s first 22 pro fights took place in Mexico. He has also fought in Nevada, Florida, California and Texas, but this will be the first time he’s fought in Madison Square Garden, or in the city or state of New York, for that matter.
10) In the “Did You Know?” category, Alvarez come from a big family of fighter – in fact, all six of his brothers have fought as professionals, including Rigoberto, who was once the interim WBA champ at 154 pounds. All seven brothers fought on the same card on June 28, 2008 in Jalisco, Mexico. Canelo won a ten-round decision over Miguel Vasquez, while his brothers went 3-3 on the evening.