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.