Rocky Fielding heads to Madison Square Garden hoping to pull off a titanic upset as he defends his WBA (Regular) super middleweight world title against Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. Can he send shockwaves through boxing this weekend?
The consensus is Fielding needs a Christmas miracle to get the victory. It’s not hard to see why. Canelo is a multiple world champion in two weight classes and returns to the ring off the back of a points win over middleweight king Gennady Golovkin.
That victory against GGG may have been a contentious one but, much like a snarling Doberman Pinscher, it’s impossible to deny the Mexican’s pedigree. One of the sport’s pound-for-pound bests now has his eager eyes set on become a three-weight world champion.
Despite fighting for the first time at the 168lb limit, Canelo is a heavy favourite. His odds of 2/55 to win are hardly tempting. But a late stoppage, or even a points decision, is far more appetising.
Alvarez has only one knockout when fighting above super welterweight and is giving away around five inches in height against his foe. His intentions have been clear – he wants the KO – but he may have to be patient as he goes hunting for that early finish or risk walking in to too many shots.
In his inaugural bout since signing an eyepopping £278m five-year fight deal with streaming service DAZN, it seems right to count on Canelo here.
But is it mission impossible for Rocky?
Fielding has one major thing in his favour; size. Lots of it. It could be crucial.
With Canelo having to make up for the difference in length by trying to fight inside, he leaves himself more open to punches from Fielding.
The Liverpudlian’s trainer, Jamie Moore, hopes to use Golovkin’s success in closing the distance against the Mexican as their map to success. With his fighter being far rangier, it seems a wise direction to take.
A knockout isn’t out of the question – Fielding is priced at 11/1 – but Canelo has never hit the canvas in his entire pro career. Even rock-fisted GGG couldn’t shift him.
With that in mind, coupled with an unspectacular 56% KO record, a points win for Fielding seems his most likely avenue here if he is to tear up the formbook.
Unlike his namesake, Rocky’s chances aren’t quite a million to one shot. But a win would be worthy of a Hollywood movie. Can the Merseyside man join the A-list?
Odds correct at time of publication. Subject to change.
For all new customers, ComeOn! are offering a £10 Free Bet – make sure you sign up!