Rocky Fielding Back with a Bang
By: Ste Rowen
Rocky Fielding got back to winning ways at Liverpool’s Olympia Arena with a 2nd round victory over Abdallah Paziwapazi that’ll add to the KO reel of 2019 and one he hopes will bump him back into the fringe contender status at super-middleweight he held just less than a year ago.
Abdallah, 26-6-1 (23KOs) came out swinging from the first bell as he looked to shock the home-town favourite. Rocky, the much taller man, attempted to slow his opponent down with his lengthy jabs but the Tanzanian’s pace keeping the early momentum with him.
Fielding was fighting for the first time since his early TKO loss to Canelo back in December and it seemed the inactivity was playing a big part in the first few rounds in Liverpool tonight. But with 60 seconds left of the 2nd, Fielding landed a heavy 1-2 that offset the Tanzanian and forced him onto the backfoot, and then Rocky really laid it on thick to setup the finisher. With his back to the ropes, Rocky landed four unanswered hooks and dropped Paziwapazi to the canvas.
He attempted to rise, but the referee waved it off before he could properly steady himself. So the Liverpudlian, now 28-2 (16KOs) sealed a comprehensive return to winning ways and then spoke ringside immediately,
<em>‘‘As a kid I looked at the Olympia and said, ‘Oh it’d be great to fight here.’
I’ve been in camp waiting for that big shot. I said after the Canelo fight I just wanted that break with the kids…I was looking to get back in. The buzz of the gym, this is what I want.
It felt fine in there, he’s a bit swingy cos he’s got a bit of power in him…We’ve been working on those shots. Hopefully I can get out in December and get back in the mix.’’</em>
Former lightweight world champion, Terry ‘Turbo’ Flanagan scored whitewash win over Honduran, Jeyro Duran. The Mancunian outclassed his foe from the first bell to the last, but still sounded a little disappointed post-fight.
<em>‘‘The last few rounds he tried to tie me up and I fell into his trap, but it was still an easy fight. I was always in control.’’</em>
Jayro may have a famous surname but the Honduran headed into tonight on a two-fight loss streak and was forced into a passive start by an aggressive Flanagan. ‘Turbo’ was intent on throwing combination punches and clearly wasn’t settled with just trying to land single shots. The relentless attack continued into the 3rd but Duran, 14-6 (13KOs) was hanging in without making a dent in Flanagan’s dominance.
Terry, who was two fights removed from his decision loss to former WBA Super-lightweight champion, Regis Prograis, ended the fight in much the same way he started it, and despite not getting the stoppage, eight rounds in the bank of constant pressure won’t do the Mancunian much harm as he heads into 2020 hoping for a big fight at 135lbs. The final scorecard was 80-71, meaning he improved to 36-2 (14KOs).
Martin Murray scored a shut-out points victory over eight rounds, against Bosnian, Sladan Janjanin and promised big things to come for 2020.
Murray had clearly planned to target the body from the outset, landing swift left hooks to Janjanin’s torso and keeping him on the backfoot. Within the first minute of the 2nd round, the away fighter was already struggling with Martin’s constant body attack, even at certain times looking over to the ref helplessly protesting for a low blow.
The Bosnian, 27-4 (21KOs) continued in his retreat as the fight progressed into round six and former middleweight contender, Murray with his hands low was mixing up his shots, even risking taking a few hits to land more. Before tonight, Sladan’s four defeats have all came via stoppage, ranging from super-welter to super-middleweight, so despite the constant pressure and domination Martin will be disappointed that his opponent survived to hear the final bell, but survive was the key word and Murray took a comprehensive points victory with the referee scoring the bout 80-72, and, now 39-5-1 (17KOs) he spoke post-fight,
<em>‘‘We knew he couldn’t hurt me…Another easy one for me, I enjoyed it in there. If I’m honest people like that need to be going but the bigger the fight, the better I am.
I believe I’ve just been made mandatory for the European at middleweight and I’ve just been offered a big fight in America, so that could happen next year…I’ve forgotten his name but he’s a big, big puncher.’’</em>
Jamie Moore Explains Why Canelo Had to Have His Hands Wrapped Twice
By: Michael Kane
Rocky Fielding put his WBA Super Middleweight title on the line on Saturday against Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Ultimately it was not Fielding’s night as he was knocked down four times in the three rounds that he contested as Canelo added a world title at a third weight division.
However Fielding’s coach, British coach of the year, Jamie Moore was unhappy with Canelo and his team before the fight due to how much tape was being used.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter Account
Moore told Boxing News, “As you can imagine because of the superstar he is, he gets the rub of the green. I’d seen somebody getting wrapped up on DAZN, they put it on Twitter, I’d seen it earlier on and I said that’s not right in this state. They were wrapping the tape numerous times round the wrist and hand. It’s stacking, you’re not allowed to do it. We raised it as an issue, the commission agreed, said, ‘No, you’re right, you can’t do it.’ I sent Nige [Nigel Travis] in and Nige got there, they’d already done it. So made them take it off, said you’re not allowed to do that. The commission agreed to take it off and then they done it again. No, take it off again. So they started going crazy. Sent five people into my room saying take the tape off his hand, I said no problem, I don’t want tape on.”
“We knew we were going to walk into those sort of situations when we were coming here so we weren’t surprised. But Nige did the exact right thing. He didn’t bow to them,” Moore continued. “He went out and got the main guy [from the New York commission] and said tell them to take that off twice. He had them do it twice. It had to be rewrapped twice and rightly so. At the end of the day there are rules and regulations and people have to stick by them. You can’t just do your own thing because you’re Canelo.”
Moore was not sure if the fight went the way it did due to Fielding not sticking to the gameplan or that Canelo was that good that he negated any plans they had.
“I knew if it came down to that [Rocky] was always going to be brave but the plan wasn’t to attempt to sit in the pocket as early as the first round. I said you need to keep it long. Use your best attributes. Take the sting out of him. Before you sit in the pocket you need to at least take the sting out of him and then start to use your natural size advantage,” Moore said. “I’ll have to watch it back but maybe Canelo made him sit in the pocket, put his presence on him, established himself really quickly inside and hurt him straightaway downstairs. So when you’re in with probably the best pound for pound fighter on the planet, then the gameplan and the tactics are easier said than done. These guys are real good at negating stuff that you’re good at. So if he had done what I asked him to do, it might not have made a difference. We don’t know.
“What he didn’t allow Rocky to do was relax and let his shots go with full intent because he was always half-thinking about the next shot coming back and the reason he was half thinking was because [Alvarez] hurt him straight away downstairs.”
Moore was proud of his fighter, “All I can say is I’m proud of him. He’s got a 13 week old baby girl who he’s not really seen much of because he’s dedicated himself to this. He’s dared to try and do the impossible and unfortunately he didn’t pull it off. I’m proud of him. He kept getting up, I knew he’d keep getting up and the referee called it really well. I’ll be honest with you. Because as I was thinking if he lets him carry on, I’m going to start watching him really carefully and if he starts to get overwhelmed, I’ll step in. You’re not allowed to towel them here, you have to stand on the edge of the ring and I was just about to walk up the stairs so it was a good call and he lives to fight another day.”
“As far as longevity’s concerned it wasn’t a nine, 10, 11 round beat down,” Moore said. “He’ll be alright. He’s disappointed, I’m gutted for him because I know he could have done it better… We knew were up against. We believed we could have won before, if we’d done it right, but watching that now it was a big ask. He wanted to test himself against the very best. And that’s all you can want from a fighter.”
Canelo, Fielding Make Weight For MSG Headliner; Two Bouts Scratched
By Jake Donovan
Two originally scheduled bouts never made it to the scales, but those who made the final cut for Saturday’s show at Madison Square Garden all managed to escape unscathed from Friday’s weigh-in.
Mexico’s Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and England’s Rocky Fielding both easily made weight for their super middleweight showdown Saturday evening at MSG, which will be carried live by sports streaming application DAZN.
Alvarez’s 5’8” frame packed a rock-solid167.4 pounds for just his second career bout above middleweight, where he still reigns as the true World (lineal) champion. His motivation for moving up the scales on Saturday is in attempting to snatch a secondary super middleweight title from the clutches of the 6’1” Fielding, who checked in at 167.6 pounds.
Photo Credit: DAZN Boxing Twitter Account
For Alvarez (50-1-2, 34KOs), the night represents a series of firsts. The 28-year old from Guadalajara, Mexico makes his MSG debut, in fact having only fought once before on the East Coast, coming in Dec. 2008 on a Telemundo-televised show in Miami, Florida.
The night also serves as his first on a DAZN-streamed show, earning $15 million for Saturday’s show before venturing into a record-breaking $350 million contract with the streaming service spanning 10 fights. With a win on Saturday, he will also become the first-ever boxer from Mexico above 140 pounds to win titles in three weight classes—although the legitimacy of belt at stake is rightfully called into question.
Regardless, it’s the latest step in the career of the most bankable active boxer in North America—and possibly the world. Regardless, he joins his only other competitor on that list—England’s unbeaten, unified heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua—in aligning himself with DAZN, the move coming after having 10 of his past 11 bouts headline on Pay-Per-View.
For Fielding (27-1, 15KOs), the adventure marks his first career fight in the United States and outside of Europe in general. The 31-year old from Liverpool hit the road for the first time in his career in his last fight, scoring an upset 5th round knockout of Tyron Zeuge to win his portion of the super middleweight title this past July in Offerburg, Germany.
The win was Fielding’s 6th straight after suffering the lone loss of his career in Nov. ’15, a 1st round knockout at the hands of Callum Smith, who holds the “super” version of the super middleweight title to Fielding’s “regular” version.
Even on the heels of his current hot streak, the visiting Brit still comes in as an 8-1 betting underdog (Alvarez is a 16-1 favorite).
The originally scheduled co-feature would’ve likely produced Alvarez’ next opponent for his planned May 4th headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Alas, the hunt remains after David Lemieux—the rumored leading candidate—was scratched from the show due to being hospitalized to treat dehydration.
News came less than 30 minutes before the start of the weigh-in, thus cancelling his planned 12-round title eliminator versus Tureano Johnson, who is now owed a fight and payday by Golden Boy Promotions, who promotes all three middleweights.
Elevated to the chief support is resurgent Tevin Farmer, who attempts the second defense of his super middleweight title Francisco Fonseca. Both fighters made weight, although Philadelphia’s Farmer had to strip down to his birthday suit in order to hit the 130-pound mark. Costa Rica’s Fonseca—whose lone other title bid resulted in an 8th round knockout loss to an overweight Gervonta Davis for his only career defeat—came in at 129.4 pounds.
A lightweight title bout dripping with historical implication pits unbeaten defending titlist Katie Taylor versus Finland’s unbeaten 130-pound beltholder Eva Wahlstrom, who moves up in weight.
Taylor checked in at a fighting fit 134.2 pounds as she becomes the first-ever boxer from Ireland to defend a major title at Madison Square Garden. It’s also the first time fighting in the venue for the 32-year old, a two-time Olympian who captured a Gold medal for Ireland in the 2012 London Olympics, whose games were the first to feature women’s boxing.
The Garden party marks a quick turnaround for Taylor, who is coming off of a 10-round shutout of a disinterested Cindy Serrano this past October in Boston, which also streamed live on DAZN.
On the challenger side, Wahlstrom (22-0-1, 4KOs)—who weighed 133.5 pounds—comes in as the only boxer from Finland to capture a major title in the pro ranks. The now-38 year old managed that feat in April ’15, picking up a vacant super featherweight strap which she has defended four times including a points win over Melissa St. Vil in April.
Saturday’s show was also due to feature unbeaten super lightweight prospect Vergil Ortiz (11-0, 11KOs). However, the knockout artist from Texas was denied a license by the New York State Athletic Commission due to having Lasik eye surgery performed this past October, a procedure which serves as medical disqualification in the commission’s view.
The development killed plans for his New York and MSG debut, which was due to come versus Mexico’s Omar Tienda.
DAZN Boxing Preview: Canelo vs. Rocky, Farmer vs. Fonseca
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Golden Boy Promotions top promotional star, Canelo Alvarez, will make his debut in New York City and on the DAZN Streaming Network when he faces off against Rocky Fielding for Fielding’s WBA Super Middleweight title.
This bout will take place at the famed Madison Square Garden and features a rather stacked undercard. The co-main event of the night was originally supposed to be between David Lemieux and Tureano Johnson, but Lemieux had to withdraw due to dehydration issues and the bout between Tevin Farmer and Francisco Fonseca will take it’s place.
Other notable undercard fights include a welterweight bout between Sadam Ali and Mauricio Herrera, an IBF/WBA Women’s Lightweight Title bout between Katie Taylor and Eva Wahlstrom, and two bouts featuring high rated prospects Ryan Garcia and Lamont Roach Jr.
DAZN has gone all in with their partnership with Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo Alvarez, and this is the first of an eleven fight contract that they have with Canelo.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the night.
Tevin Farmer (27-4) vs. Francisco Fonseca (22-1-1); IBF Junior Lightweight Title
Tevin Farmer is one of those feel good stories in the sport of boxing. He wasn’t a heralded amateur and started his career with a 2-2 record, but he has shown significant improvement since his professional debut and was able to win the IBF Super Featherweight Title.
Farmer only had sixteen amateur fights so he had to learn quickly on the job. He’s not known for his power, he has only stopped six of his opponents and was stopped twice in his career. He lost by TKO in his very first professional fight and was later stopped by Jose Pedraza.
His opponent, Francisco Fonseca, has stopped sixteen of his opponents and was only stopped one time in his career, a knockout loss to Gervonta Davis. Fonseca will have a slight inch and a half height advantage and a two and a half inch reach advantage.
Fonseca has fought mainly in Panama and Costa Rica against suspect opposition. He lost his only fight outside of Central America. His biggest win to date was against a 13-3 Daniel Miranda. He’s been fairly active and fought once in 2018 and four times in 2017.
Farmer fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017. He’s shown significant improvement since his debut, especially defensively, and has beaten the likes of James Tennyson, Billy Dib, Arturo Santos Reyes, Ivan Redkach, and Angel Luna.
This is a bout that Farmer should win by decision. Farmer is angling for a future fight with Gervonta Davis and he’ll need an impressive performance to get the boxing community talking about a potential fight with Davis.
Rocky Fielding (27-1) vs. Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2); WBA Super Middleweight Title
Canelo Alvarez is arguably boxing’s biggest, active star. He’ll be chasing history on Saturday night as he looks to win a title in his third weight class, and become the ninth Mexican boxer to do so.
Canelo is in the midst of his prime at 28 years old and is three years younger than his opponent. However, Canelo is the smaller man and will be giving up height, reach, and size to Fielding.
Canelo turned pro at the age of fifteen, so Fielding has more amateur experience than Canelo as he experienced some success as an amateur on the English circuit.
Canelo also has significantly more power in his punches than Fielding. He has stopped 34 of his opponents while Fielding has only stopped fifteen. Fielding also has a TKO loss on his record when he was stopped by Callum Smith. Canelo’s lone loss was to Floyd Mayweather Jr. five years ago and he has never been stopped.
Both fighters have been fairly active. Canelo fought twice in 2017 and once in 2018 while Fielding fought twice in 2018 and in 2017.
Canelo has a long list of accomplished opponents that he has beaten. He has defeated the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Shane Mosley, and Carlos Baldomir.
Fielding’s biggest wins were against Tyron Zeuge for the WBA Super Middleweight title, David Brophy, John Ryder, and Brian Vera. This will only be his second fought outside of the United Kingdom and his first fight in the United States.
It’s likely Fielding’s size advantage will give Canelo some problems early on, but Canelo’s skill is levels above Fielding and he should win quite comfortably in his New York City debut.
Keys to Victory for Canelo and Fielding
By: Daniel Smith
In what is anticipated to be a rapid-paced, dynamite clash at Madison Square Garden, streaming live on DAZN, this Saturday night, Canelo Alvarez heeds the rapacious title pangs while licking his lips at the succulent prospect of brutally dismantling Rocky Fielding for the WBA super middleweight crown to become a three weight-class world champion.
Alvarez will certainly be fighting within the parameters of Fielding’s 160-169lbs weight domain. However, while the physical fundamentals of this bout are noticeably tilted in the scouser’s favour, it’ll be the exquisite and elite boxing calibre of Saul “Cinnamon” Alvarez that prevails.
Michael “Rocky” Fielding is a tough kid whose hard, creasing body shots generate enough thud to blast the wind out of any fighters’ sails within the super middleweight division. The 6ft 1″ Liverpudlian is a massive underdog entering into this boxing chapter of his career. However, with a thrilling enticement, confidence, firmly planted level of self-belief and a relished enthrallment that revs him up for Saturday’s bout, Fielding’s game-plan will effectively unfold or be stifled from one or two manners.
First, he may utilize his exceptionally long-spearing reach, to stab and jab at Canelo, frustrating the Mexican while maintaining the distance throughout the fight, grabbing the points win. Alternatively, he may take the bull by the horns and immerse into a vicious scrap – it’s no secret Rocky likes a swift start and can prefer to switch a marathon into a 100-meter sprint. So, we may just be treated to an all-out war and toe-to-toe trade, where granite chins and big balls emerge victoriously.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez
In an adrenaline-jacked fusion of blistering hand speed, greasy-rhythmical manoeuvring and an attacking ferocity that’s set to a hair trigger, it’s highly likely we’ll see a ten-pounds heavier and ripped-rampart version of the WBA and WBC middleweight champion.
With a shortly clipped head of hair, broad frame, thick pitbull neck and a back that presents like a hillock of muscle, Alvarez will be chomping at the bit to unleash relentless brutal pugilistic-menace that machine-guns a range of powerful combinations, ultimately avalanching his opponent to the canvas in a bloodied, bruised-up and crumpled heap.
Despite the extra muscle-weight, Alvarez will still maintain speed and agility, while out-boxing, out-powering and out-punching Fielding throughout the fight. His slippery head and body movement, neat graceful footwork and ability counter with such devastation will exhibit his world-class boxing prowess, ferocious momentum and knock-out execution.
Thereafter, we’ll probably see the Cinnamon haired, powerhouse Mexican drop back down to middleweight and dish-out a forcible and compelling win over GGG in a third encounter, sometime in 2019.
But like always, this is boxing and anything can arise. We all love the tale of an underdog and how the odds, opinions and views for victory were defied and written off. Or how controversy with judges and referees decisions (although sometimes seemingly harsh, inadequate or wrong) can upset the fold and change the course of fighters path. Either way, this is part and parcel of the sport and it’s what ignites and intrigues our interest, keeps us reading, watching discussing, debating and entertained by boxing.
Rocky vs. Canelo – Live from Maidson Square Garden, Saturday, December 15. A cracking night of boxing should be on the cards.
David Lemieux-Tureano Johnson: “Don’t Blink”
By: Sean Crose
After destroying the flamboyant and outspoken Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan this past September, the 40-4 David Lemieux will continue his quest to regain a middleweight title claim when he faces the 20-2 Tureano Johnson at Madison Square Garden this Saturday. The 12 round bout will be on the undercard of the Canelo Alvarez-Rocky Fielding match, which will be aired live on the DAZN streaming service. Lemieux, the former IBF world middleweight titleholder, will be taking part in his third and final bout of 2018, after losing a one sided decision to Billy Joe Saunders in December of 2017 for the WBO world middleweight belt.
At the moment, Lemiuex has his sights set on boxing’s biggest star, Canelo Alvarez. Both fighters are under the banner of Golden Boy Promotions, and both are fighting on DAZN. A come forward, exciting fighter, Lemieux can end a bout in shockingly violent fashion…but has come up short in his two biggest matches. Aside from the Saunders loss, Gennady Golovkin beat the Canadian up in one sided fashion back in 2015. Lemieux however, claims to have gown as a result of the challenges he’s faced. “Over the years,” he said during a Thursday press conference, “I’ve learned a lot and matured a lot.”
Lemieux’s promoter, Golden Boy honcho Oscar De La Hoya, had impressive things to say about the former champion. “When talking about David Lemieux,” the hall of fame boxer told the media, “two words come to mind: Don’t Blink.”
Although Lemieux may be looking forward to facing Canelo in the future, Johnson is no one’s easy out. Indeed, Johnson has his own career goals set out for him, with Canelo undoubtedly being high on his list. Although he was stopped in 2017 by Sergiy Derevyanchenko, Johnson exuded a highly positive attitude at Thursday’s press conference. “What’s the matter with you guys,” he joked to those gathered, “you haven’t had your breakfast or something?” It was clear the man was ready to face Lemieux this weekend. “I am definitely going to bring it,” he said, adding that “it’s going to be an exciting one.”
While the Lemieux-Johnson battle isn’t the main attraction this weekend, it’s certainly being portrayed as a potentially thrilling affair. It also may offer a peek into the future, as opponents will be needed for Canelo now that he’s signed a highly lucrative contract with DAZN. The winner may well face the man in the near future…provided, of course, that Canelo bests Fielding in Saturday’s main event.
DAZN Flexes It’s Value with Canelo vs. Rocky
By: William Holmes
That was the price for the latest boxing PPV offering between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. It was an instant classic and an amazing fight. The PPV started around 9pm and within four hours it was all over.
If you wanted to watch the heavyweight title fight you would have had to pay about $20 an hour to watch it.
Was it worth the price? For the main event fighters, especially for those that get a cut of the pay per view buys, absolutely.
But was the $75 price tag worth it for the fans? Comparatively speaking, no.
It wasn’t that long ago when PPV’s used to cost $39.99, but the price has nearly doubled since then and the monetary value for fans only decreases as the price increases.
If you want to buy a PPV chances are you’ll look for some friends, or maybe even some people you can barely call an acquaintance, that are willing to fork over some of their hard earned cash to chip in and watch boxing. If you’re willing to pay for the entire fight yourself you can probably fill your home with people, but finding fight fans willing to chip in $20 isn’t always an easy thing to do.
Some fight fans may resort to illegally streaming the fight and dealing with the annoying pop-ups and exposure to malware, while risking possible prosecution. Some fight fans will even resort to watching the fight on social media, as someone streams their television screen from their phone while exposing the interior and furniture of their abode.
Never mind the dog barking in the background, you’re saving money…illegally.
The price point for PPV’s has gotten so high that you basically have to either fork over $75 yourself to watch it, scramble to find willing and able friends to chip in for the fight, or risk illegally streaming the fight with low quality streams and virus infected ads.
DAZN’s biggest star and attraction, Canelo Alvarez, is no stranger to Pay-Per-View. He’s fought on PPV a total of nine times. The PPV that sold the lowest number of PPVs was his fight against Liam Smith, which sold 300,000 PPVs. His highest was against Mayweather, which sold 2,200,000 PPVs.
In total he has sold 8,075,000 buys for approximately $605,000,000 in revenue. He has averaged 897,222 PPV buys per event.
In comparison, Mike Coppinger of Ring Magazine estimated the PPV buys for Wilder-Fury to be a bit north of 320,000.
Canelo, who is by far the bigger draw when compared to Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, can be watched on Saturday for only $9.99 (and free for new subscribers). That price is at least seven times less than the price of the Wilder PPV, and includes several boxing and MMA events on top of the Canelo Alvarez fight for the month that you sign up. That price is at least seven times less than the price of the Wilder PPV, and includes several boxing and MMA events on top of the Canelo Alvarez fight for the month that you sign up.
The best part of this deal? Canelo’s next eleven fights will be shown on DAZN, and there’s many fights out there that can be made featuring Canelo that would normally have been put on PPV in the past.
$74.99 would get you about seven months with DAZN. That will likely include 2 Canelo fights that would have normally been shown on PPV, two fights featuring heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, Bellator MMA events, and a large number Matchroom Boxing and Golden Boy Boxing events.
With the PPV model, $74.99 will get you about four hours of fights.
Seven months vs. four hours.
The value, for fight fans, is clearly with DAZN.
The Rocky Road to Canelo
By: Ste Rowen
Just over three years ago Rocky Fielding was still trying to pick himself up from a devastating first round knockout loss to Callum Smith. Knocked down three times before trying but being unable to continue on the fourth time down in an all-Liverpool matchup for the British super-middleweight title.
Around about the same time, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez had decisioned future hall of famer, Miguel Cotto in a competitive but domineering performance.
Who could have predicted back then, or even mere months ago, that the two would meet in a headline show at Madison Square Garden?
‘‘It was who landed who really wasn’t it? And he got the shot’’ Rocky said of the Smith bout post-fight.
On that night in November 2015 Rocky was dropped within 28 seconds, went into survival mode and tried to fight fire with fire, unsuccessfully. However, it’s clearly a knock he learnt from as in his close comeback fight with Christopher Rebrasse six months later, he was heavily put down in round 2 but rose on the bell and stayed measured in his approach to eventually regain the ground lost early on.
Since earning a split decision victory over the Frenchman in 2016, Fielding has been busy reshaping his career, ensuring he’s remembered for his victories rather than, so far, his one defeat.
‘Rocky from Stocky’ finally got his hands on the British belt he missed out on against Smith when he fought out a brilliantly competitive fight with John Ryder in early 2017, winning via a slightly controversial split decision but arguably more significant was his stoppage victory over Tyron Zeuge earlier this year, to claim the secondary WBA world title in Germany.
In Offenburg last July, Fielding waited out Tyron’s early plan of attack before launching his own offense and punish the WBA ‘Regular’ champion through rounds 4 and 5 until the eventual left hook body-shot-finish that ended the fight.
Though Zeuge is undoubtedly levels below the quality of fighter Canelo is, Fielding’s plan this weekend may be similar to the one he employed against the German.
So, can Fielding do it? Almost all the evidence to date suggests not, or, everyone’s favourite phrase, ‘He has a puncher’s chance’ but he may not even have that. The unified middleweight champion has continuously proved that as well as his much-lauded defensive movement and power; that red-headed Mexican has one helluva chin too, having tasted the best that Gennady Golovkin has to offer and managed to stay upright.
At 27-1 (15KOs) and having racked up a number of domestic amateur titles, Rocky has been in with an extensive variety of styles. His height in comparison is the most obvious difference and having always been a rangy fighter, the WBA ‘Regular’ champion will need to force his fight on the Mexican early on if he wants any chance of getting the stoppage. Because let’s face it, even if he somehow dominates Alvarez over the 12-round distance, he’s not getting the judge’s decision.
He’s told Sky Sports News that he’s taking inspiration from fellow Merseyside-fighter, Tony Bellew who accumulated stoppage victories over Ilunga Makabu and David Haye twice, and his trainer, Jamie Moore has a firm plan A in mind to beat the pound-for-pound boxer,
‘‘He (Canelo) will have to overcome the difference in length which creates danger that he will walk onto shots…Golovkin had success in closing the distance and we can map out our game plan based on that.
Nailing him upstairs is a hard task but not impossible.’’
Win, lose or draw on Saturday, Rocky serves as inspiration to boxers who have faulted domestically but learned to overcome and maneuverer his way into the most profitable opposition outside of the heavyweights.
The unpredictable matchup awaits, but will we get an unpredictable result?
The American Dream: A Recent History of Brits in America
By: Oliver McManus
Rocky Fielding has the opportunity of a lifetime on Saturday night as he takes on Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez at Madison Square Garden. Live on DAZN, in America, and Sky Sports, in the UK, the fight is a culmination of an unlikely few years for the Mersyside-man.
Since losing to Callum Smith, in November 2015, for the British and WBC ‘silver’ title, won five in a row – including a do-or-die ferocious scrap against John Ryder – before claiming the WBA ‘Regular’ 168lb title from Tyron Zeuge this July.
Zeuge, a respected champion, was out-worked and out-classed by Fielding before being stopped in the fifth round. Talk immediately after composed of all-British fights with Callum Smith, George Groves and, indeed, John Ryder all talked up. Out of the blue came the contest with Canelo and, despite the odds being against him, the Brit is ready to seize his moment.
With that in mind let’s take a trip down memory lane, by no means extensively, and revisit how some fellow countryman have fared, Stateside, in recent years.
Of course the immediate name that springs to mind is a certain Lennox Lewis, Britain’s greatest heavyweight, with 22 of his professional contests held in America. We are all aware of the Lewis’ ability so it would be a disservice for me to unpick it. Training for a while under Emmanuel Steward, the pair were together for 18 fights, he developed a world-feared at-range fight style.
The last undisputed heavyweight champion, Lewis won the WBC belt against Tony Tucker in 1993, reclaimed it in 1997 against Oliver McCall, before adding the WBA and IBF belts following his decision win against Evander Holyfield in 1999. Arguably his defining fight is THAT bout with Mike Tyson in which the pair contested a hot-headed encounter, Lennox winning in the 8th.
My personal favourite memory, from watching videos of him as a child, was his crushing knockout over Michael Grant. Grant had moved to 31 without defeat, and was widely tipped as the heavyweight to watch going into the new decade, whilst Lewis was making the first defence of his ‘undisputed’ tag.
By no means his most important conquest, it was the manner in which he put the American prospect in his place. Thunderously nonchalant, Lewis landed a chipped uppercut to send Grant flat on his back and that was that, the story was over.
It would be remiss of me to not mention Tyson Fury and his glorious performance against Deontay Wilder earlier this month – a performance that, in itself, defied odds – but there is unfinished business there so we shall revisit that as and when!
From the heady heights of Lennox Lewis, many have tried to forge a name in the bright lights of America with mixed results. James Degale is a fighter of talent beyond his achievements and, in 2015, he looked to make an impact over in the U.S having already capture the British and European titles on home soil.
Immediately jumping into a world title fight, for the vacant IBF super middleweight belt, the Agganis Arena, Boston, would see him face Andre Dirrell in a contest made harder than it should have been. To give DeGale his due, the 2008 Olympic Gold medallist showed an aggressive instinct that some would argue is missing from his present game.
Two subsequent defences – one in Canada – were comfortable before a step-up as he faced Badou Jack. That fight, January of last year, was an early barn-burner for 2017 that saw both men on the canvas with a majority draw the decision. The best fight of DeGale’s career and a real show of what might have been. Since then he has lost, regained and relinquished that very title with Caleb Truax being the crux of it all.
Still with Al Haymon, who recently announced a 15 show broadcast deal with ITV, DeGale looks set to face Chris Eubank Jr in London early next year and it’s debatable as to how his foray in America will be remembered. On paper it’s a good one – unbeaten with four world title fights – but we never saw the full ability of a man who had the world at his feet.
Amir Khan is another one of those names where you’re left scratching your head thinking, ‘hey, why didn’t you achieve more?’. From those darling days of Athens 2004 where a baby faced Khan brought home a silver medal to the constant tittle-tattle with Kell Brook, it’s been a chaotic ride for even the most casual observer.
23 fights as a professional, with a single loss up to that point, gave the WBA light-welterweight champion his first taste of the American lights. Travelling to New York to defend his title against Paulie Malignaggi, the Bolton-boy instantly immersed himself into American boxing psyche thanks to an 11th round TKO.
From this point on there would be mixed fortunes for Amir with fights against big names such as Marcos Maidana, Zab Judah, Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia being peppered by varied displays. Against Maidana and Judah it seemed as though Amir Khan was on a sure-fire path to Hollywood. In the latter fights it was a brutal come down to reality.
A sensational shellacking at the hands of Saul Alvarez, a truly jaw-shattering punch, appeared to draw the curtain on Khan’s career as a whole, let alone in America. Out of the ring for two years, a three year deal with Matchroom boxing came to fruition earlier this year and wins have came by way of Phil Lo Greco and Samuel Vargas.
Whilst the talk is ‘now or never’ for Kell Brook – as it has been for the best part of three, four years – it would no longer be a pertinent display of quality, moreover ‘who has deteriorated less?’. Out of those ashes came murmurs of an approach from Top Rank, offering three and five million dollars for fights with Danny Garcia and Terrence Crawford, respectively.
Saul slammed the door shut, so it seemed, but apparently it’s still ajar… watch this space!
More recent history of British fighters over in America is less than flattering, in terms of world title fights. If you believe in omens then consider this: every British boxer in a world title fight aired on DAZN has lost. Admittedly a very irrelevant statistic given the infancy of the platform but interesting nonetheless.
Those losses, by the way; Hannah Rankin vs Claressa Shields (UD10), James Tennyson vs Tevin Farmer (TKO5) and Callum Johnson vs Artur Beterbiev (KO4).
No-one disputes that this is a serious step up for our lad from Warrington but that’s precisely why no-one would begrudge him for taking this fight. For as much as Rocky Fielding has achieved, and he’s achieved a fair bit in this unforgiving sport of ours, he’s refused to bend to the wind.
But will he withstand a Mexican storm?
David Lemieux To Appear on Alvarez-Fielding Dec. 15 MSG Show
By Jake Donovan
David Lemieux has been linked for at least two years as a potential future opponent for reigning World middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. The pairing makes sense since they both fight under Golden Boy Promotions and compete in the middleweight division.
For the fourth time in that span, they will now also share the same fight card.
Whether or not Lemieux eventually lands a long-craved shot—and lucrative payday—at the biggest draw in North America remains to be seen. For now, the former middleweight titlist gets to remain active while on the hunt, as he will return to the ring on December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City in news first reported by TVA Sports in Canada.
Photo Credit: David Lemieux Twitter Account
His bout—the third of 2018 and likely versus fellow Golden Boy middleweight Tureano Johnson (20-2, 10KOs)—will serve as the chief support to Alvarez’ challenge of secondary super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding in the main event. Both bouts will come as part of what is shaping up to be a loaded show to air live on sports streaming service DAZN-USA.
Lemieux’s manager, Camille Estephan confirmed to BoxingInsider.com his placement—along with another client, rising super lightweight contender Yves Ulysse Jr.—on the MSG show, although stopping well short of mentioning their opponents. Both slots are expected to be announced in a press conference due to take place later next week in Montreal.
Johnson—who represented his native Bahamas in the 2008 Beijing Olympics—has not fought since Aug. ’17, suffering a 12th round stoppage to then-unbeaten contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko in their title eliminator. While his name comes as a surprise for a fight of this caliber given his inactivity, Lemieux’s involvement on the show was fully expected.
From the moment it was officially announced that Alvarez would make his NYC debut, it was strongly suggested that Canada’s Lemieux (40-4, 34KOs) would grace the undercard.
Both appeared on the same September 15 show at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Alvarez outpointed Gennady Golovkin in their rematch to reestablish his spot atop the middleweight division. More than an hour in real time separated Alvarez’ ring walk and Lemieux’s place in the evening’s final preliminary bout, needing less than a round to blow out his contentious rival Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan.
Lemieux’s other two appearances on Alvarez undercards also came at T-Mobile Arena, scoring a 10-round decision over Marcos Reyes last May (Alvarez outpointed Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in the main event) and knocking out Glen Tapia in four rounds exactly 52 weeks prior (Alvarez knocked out Amir Khan in six rounds).
The win over Tapia was his first fight as an ex-titlist, having ended his reign in an 8th round knockout loss to Golovkin in Oct. ’15. That bout represented his lone other appearance at Madison Square Garden, having fought in New York just one other time when he stopped Gabriel Rosado in the 10th round of their Dec. ’14 battle at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Overall, Lemieux—who will turn 30 one week after the December 15 show—is 6-1 in his post-title reign. The lone loss came at the hands of Billy Joe Saunders in their title fight last December in Laval, Canada. That bout aired live on HBO, as did a March ’17 knockout win over Curtis Stevens, with his fights versus Golovkin, Reyes, Tapia and O’Sullivan all taking place on HBO PPV.
His forthcoming return to New York City will mark his debut on DAZN-USA, which launched in the United States in September. The streaming service made considerable headlines in October when announcing a record-breaking contract with Alvarez and long-term agreement for Golden Boy Promotions to showcase its entire stable on the platform.
The alignment puts Lemieux in perhaps the most favorable position of his career—including his brief title reign.
Lemieux is just 1-2 overall in title fights, the victory coming in a 12-round decision win over Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in their June ’15 vacant title fight. His regin was short-lived, conceding the belt to Golovkin just four months later and then coming up miserably short versus then-titlist Saunders one year ago.
Still, his alliance with Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN opens the doors for plenty of future opportunities.
Alvarez and recently crowned middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade (promoted by Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing USA outlet) both fight under the DAZN banner, which is soon expected to welcome another new 160-pound beltholder in Daniel Jacobs. RingTV.com senior writer Mike Coppinger reported earlier this week that Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler is in advanced talks with the platform to bring aboard the middleweight superstar.
Visions of trekking toward the top of the middleweight division begin with the outcome of his December 15 date in New York City.
Lemieux’s addition beefs up a card that is already taking shape on paper. The balance of the undercard remains largely rumor-based and sans opponents, but so far suggested to ply their trade in chief support are 130-pound titlist Tevin Farmer and 2012 Olympic Gold medalist and reigning lightweight champ Katie Taylor, both of whom appeared on the same October 20 show in Boston and emerged victorious in separate one-sided contests.
In the main event, both Mexico’s Alvarez (50-1-2, 34KOs) and England’s Fielding (27-1, 15KOs) fight in New York City for the first time in their respective careers.
Alvarez fights north of the 160-pound limit for just the second time in his career. The lone other occasion was his shutout of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in their May ’17 catchweight clash.
Fielding attempts the first defense of a secondary title he wrested from Tyron Zeuge in an upset 5th round knockout win this past July in Germany. The feat marked the sixth straight win for the 31-year old following his lone loss, a Nov. ’15 1st round knockout loss to Callum Smith who recently won the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight tournament.
The forthcoming defense versus Alvarez also marks Fielding’s U.S. debut and just second consecutive—and overall—pro fight outside of jolly old England.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Barrera, Lomachenko, Hardy, Wilder, Fury, and more…
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 2nd to October 9th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Canelo Alvarez to Make NYC Debut Against Rocky Fielding
Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs), the universally recognized middleweight champion of the world and the veritable face of boxing, will make his New York City debut as he faces WBA Super Middleweight World Champion Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) in a special 12-round super middleweight attraction on Saturday, Dec. 15 at Madison Square Garden.
Additional details for the event, including ticket information, will be announced shortly.
Canelo, the 28-year-old native of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, is without a doubt boxing’s biggest star. After capturing two world titles and the lineal championship in the super welterweight division, Canelo moved up to middleweight to capture the WBC, Lineal and
Ring Magazine World Titles with a unanimous decision victory against Miguel Cotto in November 2015. Canelo has maintained his status as the lineal champion ever since. But after his historic win against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in their highly anticipated rematch in September, Canelo captured the WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Titles and established himself as the very best in the division. Canelo will look to capture a world title in a third division against Fielding.
“It has always been a desire of mine to fight in New York, and where better than at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden?” said Canelo Alvarez. “I look forward to exploring this 160-pound division against current WBA World Champion Rocky Fielding. I will be representing the WBC as its current middleweight world champion as I continue demonstrating to the world that I am the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.”
Fielding is a 31-year-old native of Liverpool, England who climbed the 168-pound rankings by fighting the toughest fighters in his native country. Fielding has only suffered one loss in his career, against who would eventually be a world champion in Callum Smith. Since then, he has scored six victories in a row, including his career-best win against Tyron Zeuge to capture the WBA Super Middleweight World Title in July. Fielding will defend his title in what will be his United States debut.
“This is everything that I’ve ever dreamed of – fighting a pound-for-pound star at Madison Square Garden for my world title,” said Rocky Fielding. “I can really punch. Everyone knows that. Let’s see what happens on the night when I catch him clean. He’s [Canelo] stepping up in weight, and he’s not going to be a big super middleweight. I know how good he is, but we will come up with a plan to beat him. I know I can catch him and put him to sleep.”
“It was about time that the biggest star in boxing headed to Madison Square Garden,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions. “Nearly every great fighter has fought at this historic arena. Canelo is establishing a historic legacy, and I’m excited that fans in New York will be able to see this great talent in such a famed place for boxing.”
“This will be a huge night for Rocky Fielding, and one he couldn’t turn down – the chance to fight one of the biggest names of the sport in an iconic and historic venue in Madison Square Garden,” said Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing. “Although Rocky is the champion, we thank Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya and Eric Gomez for this wonderful opportunity. New York can expect a Liverpool invasion on December 15 and a great atmosphere in the Big Apple.”
Canelo vs. Fielding is a 12-round fight for WBA Super Middleweight World Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Matchroom Boxing. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” and Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle.” The event will take place Saturday, December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.
Showtime Sports to Chronicle Wilder vs. Fury with All Access Series
SHOWTIME Sports will chronicle the buildup to the heavyweight blockbuster event featuring WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury with a new installment of ALL ACCESS, a three-part series beginning Saturday, November 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME. The Emmy Award-winning series will peel back the curtain as two of boxing’s most charismatic showmen prepare to put their undefeated records on the line Saturday, December 1 live on SHOWTIME PPV® from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Episode two of ALL ACCESS: WILDER VS. FURY will premiere Saturday, November 24 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. ALL ACCESS EPILOGUE, which spotlights the intensity of fight night and the solemn aftermath of world championship prizefighting like never before, will premiere on Saturday, December 8.
The acclaimed SHOWTIME Sports original series will be accompanied by digital features released throughout fight week on the networks’ social media channels. ALL ACCESS DAILY will deliver the same intimate access and signature storytelling as the intensity builds toward the most significant heavyweight title fight in the U.S. since 2002. New installments of the digital series will be available each day beginning Wednesday, November 28 on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page.
ALL ACCESS: WILDER VS. FURY will immerse viewers into the lives and training camps of Wilder, the Alabama native set for his eighth world title defense and Fury, the self-proclaimed “Gypsy King” who shocked the world in 2015 when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko to become the unified and lineal heavyweight world champion. Filming for the series is underway as the towering figures embark on a three-city press tour for one of 2018’s most anticipated events.
Sullivan Barrera vs. Seanie Monaghan in Brooklyn on November 3rd
Former WBC International Light Heavyweight world champion Sullivan Barrera (21-2, 14 KOs) returns to the ring to regain his standing as one of the world’s top light heavyweights. Barrera faces top five light heavyweight contender “Irish” Seanie Monaghan (29-1, 17 KOs) in the 10-round main event at The Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday, November 3, 2018. The event is promoted by Main Events and will be streamed live via Facebook Watch as part of the Golden Boy Fight Night series.
Tickets are priced at $125 and $100 for VIP ringside seats and $50 for general admission. They are available to purchase now through Eventbrite or by calling Main Events at 973-200-7050 or emailing [email protected].
Barrera vs. Monaghan was originally scheduled to take place on August 18 but was postponed when Barrera suffered an eye injury. Barrera has since recovered, and Monaghan remained available to put the bout back on the Facebook Watch series, a collaboration between Golden Boy Promotions, Facebook and Main Events, offered to fans around the world via live online streaming.
Barrera, 36, a native of Cuba who defected to the United States after fighting for the Cuban National Team, now lives and trains in Miami, Florida. He makes his return to the ring after taking WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol deep into the 12th round of their title fight in March before being stopped, by far the most difficult opponent of Bivol’s professional career. The WBC ranks Barrera fourth in the competitive Light Heavyweight division.
Monaghan, also 36, is a Long Island, New York native with proud Irish roots. He began his professional boxing career at the late age of 28 but quickly made up for lost time. After his first and only loss as a professional in 30 fights to Marcus Browne in July 2017, Monaghan started his comeback quest with a win in November 2017 and intends to make up for lost time against Barrera.
“Thank you to my team, my coach Derik Santos, my promoter Main Events, my manager Luis Molina, and thanks to Seanie Monaghan for taking this fight,” said Barrera. “As always, I’m willing to face the top guys in my division. This is another tough fighter. I look forward to November 3, and I’ll give the fans a great show. They will see me start to climb my way back up to facing the very best light heavyweights in the world.”
Barrera’s trainer, Derik Santos, said training is already underway for the fight. “We are working and are dedicated as usual. Thank you to manager Luis Molina and our promoter Main Events. Sullivan has gone into tough fights over the years and has consistently shown himself to be one of the toughest light heavyweight contenders in the division.”
Despite the pressure on them, Barrera and Santos maintain the same confidence and positive attitude that led Barrera to the top. “Train well and overcome, has been the directive since day one,” declared Santos. “Our expectations are the same today.”
Barrera is no stranger to Seanie Monaghan, and he’s looking forward to the matchup. “This fight is do or die for both of us. I’ve been going back and forth with Barrera on Twitter for a couple of years now. This will finally be our chance to settle it in the ring, no more talking,” said Monaghan.
Monaghan lost his father over the summer. He planned from that day to bring the late Davy Monaghan’s ashes back to his hometown of Navan in Ireland someday while wearing a title belt around his waist. His fight with Barrera is as much for his father as it is for himself.
In the ultra-competitive light heavyweight division, the talent pool is deep, and virtually every fighter ranked among the Top 15 contenders is a threat to the current titleholders. Main Events’ CEO and Barrera’s promoter, Kathy Duva, originally selected this high-stakes fight as a perfect fit for the Main Events-promoted card in the Golden Boy Fight Night series and remained resolved to make the fight happen after the cancellation.
“Expanding access to our fan-friendly fights around the world with online streaming technology is the latest chapter in the 40-year history of Main Events,” said Duva. “Boxing has always been able to adapt and stay current as a sport.”
Duva promised: “Technology has changed a lot in this world, but one thing will never change about Main Events: our determination to make the best matches and feature amazing athletes in the ring. We wanted Sullivan Barrera and Seanie Monaghan in the ring and were more disappointed than anyone when the original bout was postponed. We were determined to make this fight happen, because I know these guys will give everything they’ve got for their legacy, and for the fans.”
Lomachenko-Pedraza Tickets on Sale October 10th
WBA lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko has made his second home in New York City.
The man considered by many boxing experts to be the world’s best fighter will top the bill at a Madison Square Garden venue for the fourth time as a pro when he takes on WBO champion Jose Pedraza in a unification bout Dec. 8 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Madison Square Garden, tickets for Lomachenko-Pedraza go on sale Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 12 p.m. ET. Priced at $506, $356, $206, $106, and $56, tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at ticketmaster.com and MSG.com.
Lomachenko-Pedraza will headline a special edition of Top Rank on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET, which will follow the 84th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Presentation.
This will be Lomachenko’s third consecutive bout at a Madison Square Garden venue. He last fought May 12 at Madison Square Garden, knocking out Jorge Linares in the 10th round in front of 10,429 fans.
12th Ranked Heavyweight Jermaine Franklin Parts Ways with Management Team
Undefeated Heavyweight Jermaine “989 Assassin” Franklin (17-0, 13KOs) is taking the next step toward being World Heavyweight Champion. Franklin announced last week that he has parted ways with his former Manager Mark Haak.
At 24 years old and ranked #12 in the U.S., Franklin is currently the youngest fighter ranked in the Top 20 in the country. “After long discussions with my family, I felt it was best to go in a new direction. I’m ready to take the next step toward being the World Heavyweight Champion. Whoever promotes the Franklin name needs to know they are getting a world champion in two years or less. That’s a promise,” said Franklin.
Franklin won the Golden Gloves heavyweight national title in 2014 and placed second in the 2014 World Golden Gloves. Known for speed and punching power with both hands, Franklin’s growing popularity is making the boxing world take notice.
“When I look at the heavyweight division, my skills and heart is second to none. There is no one out there that I fear. I have the power to knock out whoever stands in front of me,” said Franklin.
Heather Hardy vs. Shelly Vincent Added to October 27th HBO telecast
In a rematch of their epic 2016 “Fight of the Year”, Brooklyn’s Heather “The Heat” Hardy (21-0, 4 KOs) and Shelly “Shelito’s Way” Vincent (23-1, 1 KO) will clash once again on October 27, at the Hulu Theater from Madison Square Garden. The scheduled 10-round bout, for the vacant WBO Women’s Featherweight World title, will open a sensational tripleheader televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Previously announced on the telecast, Daniel Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs) and Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs) will battle for the vacant IBF World Middleweight Title and Alberto Machado (20-0, 16 KOs) will defend his WBA Super Featherweight Title against Yuandale Evans (20-1, 14 KOs).
“I’m so excited and so honored to be fighting on HBO,” said Hardy. “Shelly and I have wanted a rematch since the first fight ended and it’s fitting that it’s on this huge card and will be telecast on HBO from Madison Square Garden. The first fight was one of the very best of 2016 and the rematch will start right where we finished off.”
Said Vincent emphatically about the world title bout and prospect of winning the title belt, “I’m not leaving without my property!”
“I was thrilled to call Heather and Shelly and let them know that their rematch will be telecast on HBO,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “I have to give a lot of credit to Peter Nelson and HBO for advancing women’s boxing by stepping up to air this fight.”
“The first fight between Heather and Shelly was an outstanding, back-and-forth battle, reminiscent of the Gatti-Ward fights that I co-promoted. I anticipate nothing less when the bell rings for the rematch. October 27 is a stacked card, in the intimate setting of Hulu Theater from Madison Square Garden, and I encourage as many fans as possible to join us live.”
Fighting on August 21, 2016, in Coney Island, NY, and in a nationally telecast bout, Hardy won a hard-fought majority decision over 10 rounds. Hardy has since won three additional fights including two victories versus former world title challenger Edina Kiss. Most recently, Hardy scored an eight-round decision against Iranda Torres on April 21, in Brooklyn.
A native of Providence, RI, Vincent has stayed busy with five wins since her loss to Hardy, the only defeat of her eight years as a professional. As a result of her performance against Hardy, the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame named her their “Fighter of the Year” for 2016, with Vincent becoming the first female recipient of that award. In her last bout on July 21, Vincent took home an eight-round decision victory against Calista Silgado.
Canelo Alvarez to Face Rocky Fielding at MSG
By: Michael Kane
WBA Super Middleweight Regular champion, Rocky Fielding, will make his first defence of the title on December 15th at Madison Square Garden, New York, against WBC, WBA Super and Ring middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
In a match up that has come as a bit of a surprise, Canelo moves up a weight division to try and add another title.
Fielding won the title when he defeated Tyron Zeyge by 5th round TKO in July and lands a massive pay day for his first defence.
Fielding is currently 27-1 with his only defeat against current WBA Super Middleweight Super champion Callum Smith back in 2015.
Canelo, who added the WBC Middleweight title last month after another epic fight with Gennady Golovkin will be looking to add to his legacy.
Canelo took to social media to post, “With great emotion I announce my next fight.
“Taking a big challenge in my career and representing the WBC at 160 lbs, I will now fight for the 168 lbs title vs Rocky Fielding, the current WBA champion.”
Con mucha emoción les anuncio mi siguiente pelea. Próximo 15 de diciembre en el MSG de New York. Tomando un gran reto más en mi carrera y representando al wbc como campeón de las 160 lbs ahora pelearé por el título mundial por las 168 lbs vs Rocky Fielding actual campeón wba!🥊🥊 pic.twitter.com/h86E4xHDvF
— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) October 5, 2018
Rocky Fielding posted that he was living the dream, from Salford Sports Centre to Madison Square Gardens.
— Rocky Fielding (@Rocky87Fielding) October 5, 2018
Fielding’s promoter Eddie Hearn took to Twitter to congratulate him on landing the massive fight.
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) October 5, 2018
As yet, which TV network the fight will be on in the U.S has yet to be announced. Canelo’s fights had been a staple of HBO PPV however HBO have decided to pull out of boxing coverage. Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom promotions have a deal with DAZN who would love to have Canelo appear on their streaming service.
No such problems for fans in the UK who will be served by Sky Sports Box Office.
Fielding KOs Zeuge in 5 to Become the New WBA ‘Regular’ Champion
By: Ste Rowen
In Offenburg, Germany’s Baden-Arena, Rocky Fielding became the new WBA ‘Regular’ super middleweight champion after stopping the previously unbeaten, Tyron Zeuge with an impressive 5th round stoppage.
Before tonight Zeuge was 22-0-1 (12KOs) and knew he was in with a arguably his toughest opposition to date but, after a jittery opening minute and a half, both fighters began to show intent, though the quality was lacking, throwing ambitious hooks that put a block on the others attack rather than do any damage.
In recent performances, Zeuge has had success from leading off the jab to setup his offence, but in the early rounds neither boxer seemed very interested in anything other than attempting to throw power punches from all angles.
The fight remained close heading into the 4th, although the German looked to be having slightly more success. Fielding, who trains alongside the likes of Carl Frampton and Martin Murray, under the tutelage of Jamie Moore & Nigel Travis, appeared, for the time being at least, comfortable fighting off the back foot. But as the cliché goes, you have to rip the belt from the champion. Especially when the belt holder is fighting on home turf in his 6th defence.
With a minute left of round 4 the challenger sensed this and kicked it up a notch. Rocky landed quickfire combinations forcing, Zeuge onto the backfoot and eventually the ropes. The champion survived until the bell, but for the first time tonight he clearly looked in a lot of discomfort.
Into the 5th and Fielding was clearly on top and enjoying himself, shooting off more of those left and right combinations, which not only took a toll on Tyron, but also killed off the early atmosphere the home crowd attempted to bring.
With 30 seconds left of round 5, Rocky landed a massive left uppercut which left his opposition visibly shaken. The challenger wasted no time in going in for the finisher, landing simultaneously with another left-hand uppercut and body shot sending the now, former champ, down and keeping him there, bringing an end to the bout, meaning Rocky Fielding was now the new, WBA ‘Regular’ super middleweight champion of the world.
‘’It feels amazing. The fact that I come to the champion’s backyard and stopped him. Everything Jamie (Moore) said was on point. I broke him down. Jamie said, the first six and we’ll see where he’s at.’’
‘’He (Zeuge) likes to fall in but he doesn’t do nothing. When he’s in close, he’ll just tap. When we were up close it was like 1-2 ‘bang’ around the side and he wasn’t firing back and that’s what finished him.’’
‘’This was my chance. What do I do after here if nothing happens? This is my dream…The distractions are gone and once I get my mind clear I had that fear factor and I’m switched on.’’
Now 27-1 (15KOs), the post-fight interview turned to what was next for England’s newest champion, although the Liverpudlian seemed unsure if there was a rematch clause in place,
‘’I’d like to defend it in the Echo Arena in my home city, but I doubt Tyron Zeuge will want to take me on again. I’ll have a rest and after a few weeks sit down with my team and see what the plan is.’’
‘’I just want to embrace this for a bit.’’
Tyron Zeuge vs. Rocky Fielding Preview
By: Ste Rowen
This Saturday night in Germany, WBA ‘Regular’ super middleweight champion, Tyron Zeuge, 22-0-1 (12KOs) takes on, Commonwealth and recently-vacated British champion, Rocky Fielding, 26-1 (14KOs) at Offenburg’s, Baden-Arena, for the fourth defence of his secondary title.
Zeuge, fighting in Germany for the 24th time in his 24-fight pro career, defended his WBA strap just over a year ago when he took on Fielding’s fellow Brit and Liverpudlian, Paul Smith Jr, dropping the 3-time world title challenger, along the way to earning a dominant 12-round decision, and though from the 1st bell the victory never seemed in doubt, Tyron’s lack of power left the crowd wanting something more from the man hoping to emulate fellow countrymen, Arthur Abraham and current trainer, Juergen Braehmer by making big waves in the 168lb division, but he had the opportunity, in his first bout since the Smith fight, to prove to the German fans he had the ability to finish opponents when he took on Isaac Ekpo for a second time in March this year.
Photo Credit: Rocky Fielding Twitter Account
The first time the German met Nigerian, Ekpo it ended early when Zeuge suffered a cut near his right eye and the bout was called a Technical Decision victory to Zeuge in the 5th round. So, there was unfinished business for the two fighters heading into the March event. This time the WBA strap holder made lightwork of Isaac, dropping his opponent once at the end of the 1st and then landing a multitude of huge right hooks in round 2, dropping Ekpo again and forcing the referee into ending the bout.
Speaking to German website ‘BOXSPORT’, Tyron is confident he’ll still be unbeaten after Saturday,
‘I’m not too concerned with my opponent. Juergen (Braehmer) took a close look at Fielding and analysed him… He is a fighter, this will certainly be a good fight.’
And whether Fielding is his toughest opponent to date?
‘Hard to say, the next opponent is always the hardest.’
Three months ago, Fielding was apparently in talks to face another champion in Mexican, Gilberto Ramirez, the current WBO champion, but instead finds himself fighting for a lesser belt in, some would say, an even more hostile environment in Germany, as opposed to a US showdown with Ramirez.
But speaking to ‘Boxing News Online’ the former British and current Commonwealth champion is confident in his own ability to silence the crowd, and if it goes the distance, win over the judges,
‘It’s an opportunity that’s been presented to me and I have to take it, wherever it is I’ll go…The pressures on him to keep that belt in front of his home crowd.’
‘Zeuge is a good fighter, he does everything well, but I think I’ve boxed the better opponents…and I think I punch harder.’
Rocky is on a 5-fight win streak since he was knocked out in one round by current World Boxing Super Series finalist, Callum Smith back in 2015. The Liverpool native has earned completive, split 12-round decisions over Christopher Rebrasse and John Ryder, as well as 3 stoppage victories, the most impressive coming against Scotsman, David Brophy in November last year when Fielding took less than 60 seconds to wipe out then, 19-1-1, Brophy, whose only other loss came at the hands of current WBA ‘Super’ champion, George Groves.
It’s power that could be the real gamechanger if Fielding is to win. He’ll have the slight height advantage when the two meet, but arguably Zeuge’s best asset is the ramrod jab he’s displayed in his biggest fights, most notably when he took on Smith last year and no doubt from the 1st bell on Saturday it will be the German who attempts to immediately establish himself in the middle of the ring behind a constant throw of his piston left hand.
But as mentioned, it will be interesting to see, if and when Fielding lands his first significant punch, whether his opponent has the chin to withstand the shot, despite being the man heading into the bout with a KO loss on his record, Rocky has certainly come up against a consistently higher quality, and bigger punching calibre of opponent.
Whoever emerges victorious, the super middleweight division is packed with interesting matchups, from the WBSS finalists, Groves & Smith, to fellow belt holders Ramirez, Benavidez and recently crowned Uzcategui, and the broader string of challengers in the two Calebs, Truax and Plant or Eubank Jr. The list goes on for the 168lbers.