By Sean Crose
Canelo Alvarez returned in bruising fashion Saturday evening in New York by demolishing England’s Ricky Fielding via third round stoppage. The bout, which was aired live on the DAZN streaming service, went down at Madison Square Garden, where Canelo had never before fought, and earned the Mexican star the WBA super middleweight title. Although Fielding had a considerable height advantage over Canelo, the extra inches proved useless, as Canelo broke his man down in rapid fashion. Fielding was never truly in the fight and arguably appeared relieved once it was over. For Canelo, the night provided an opportunity to show his skills in a new venue after brutal back to back superfights with Gennady Golovkin.
While most analysts perhaps felt that the 27-2 Fielding would try to employ his height advantage with a stiff jab and the effective use of distance, the champion allowed himself to be bulled around the ring pretty much from the opening bell. Canelo simply moved forward, unloading horrendous body shots. Fielding went down from one such shot in the first, then went down from another in the second. While the Englishman occasionally threw flurries, he employed no footwork to speak of and didn’t seem to have any real power on his punches. A right hand in the third sent Fielding down in a corner. Fielding got up, but another body shot put him down again. It was then that the referee wisely called off the fight.
Before the Canelo-Fielding match, IBF super featherweight titlist Tevin Farmer went up against Francisco Fonseca in a scheduled 12 round affair. The 28-4-1 Farmer looked extremely impressive as he fired accurate punches with piston-like speed throughout the bout. After surprising many in his previous fight by stopping James Tennyson in the fifth round last October up in Boston, Farmer appeared to be looking for a knockout victory tonight. The early stoppage simply wasn’t meant to be, as the 22-1-1 Fonseca proved to be game and incredibly determined. There were times where it looked like the man couldn’t keep withstanding Farmer’s shot, though he did while showing an impressive skill set of his own.
While Farmer dominated the first few rounds, Fonseca kept himself in the match and appeared to be making up ground in the middle to late rounds. Farmer, however, was simply the man who landed the better punches throughout the night. Walking away with a unanimous decision victory, it was clear that Farmer is now one of the sport’s considerable talents.