Liverpool’s Rocky Fielding was unable to cause what would have been one of the biggest upsets in recent history versus an all business Saul Alvarez in their Madison Square Garden contest for Fielding’s regular WBA super middleweight title. Alvarez’s brutally efficient three round demolition of his opponent meant he became a three weight world champion and strengthened developing opinion that he may well be boxing’s pound for pound best. As despite Fielding managing to get up three times from devastatingly precise blows to the body and head, in truth the gulf in class between the two fighters was clear for all to see in New York on Saturday night.
In taking the fight, despite knowing the mountain they had to climb to win, Fielding and those in his camp perhaps hoped that his palpable size and reach advantage might serve to be somewhat of an equaliser in the fight. Yet it seemed to have little to no effect on Alvarez as Fielding was unable to take the centre of the ring in any meaningful way. Instead, it was Alvarez who pressed his opponent against the ropes and immediately started whipping body shot after body shot into the ribs of the taller man in front of him. A clinically fast start from Alvarez culminated in him forcing his opponent to take a knee after a big left hook to the ribs. The brave Liverpudlian Fielding just about made the first bell but it already seemed like a matter of when not if the Mexican superstar Canelo ended proceedings.
A game Fielding, perhaps sensing that his only chance of victory was to test the notoriously solid chin of Alvarez, bravely stood toe to toe and traded in the second as he was continually backed onto the ropes by his supremely confident opponent. But another crunching left to the body made him once again take a knee with thirty seconds of the second to go and the masses of Alvarez fans gathered in New York’s famous ‘MSG’ started to smell blood.
The third round was similar to the second in that Fielding continually attempted to land telling blows of his own as he was relentlessly attacked to both head and body. This time a big right hook to the head of Fielding caused him again to take a knee and look on desperately to his trainer Jamie Moore. Despite bravely getting to his feet for a third time in as many rounds, the end was clearly nigh and the referee rightly called the fight off late in the third after another huge left to body from the world class Alvarez who truly has the world at his feet after defeating Gennady Golovkin in September in the second of their expected trilogy of bouts. Many will push for that third fight between the two men after the highly contentious nature of the judges scores in both the first and second fight. Yet there are other options for Alvarez in the form of IBF Middleweight champ Daniel Jacobs and WBO middleweight belt holder Demetrius Andrade, time will tell if he leaves Golovkin waiting for possible vengeance or decides to give the fans what they want sooner rather than later.
As for Saturday’s gallant loser Rocky Fielding, who was unfairly criticised in some quarters for even taking a fight versus someone of Alvarez’s quality, despite losing his world title on such a big stage, should not be begrudged in his decision to fulfill a lifetime’s dream of fighting at Madison Square Garden for a no doubt life changing sum of money. After being defeated by fellow Liverpudlian Callum Smith in their hometown encounter so brutally three years ago, you doubt anyone in Fielding’s position would even consider turning down an offer to fight a man who will no doubt go down as one of the sport’s greats.
Watching on in the crowd was heavyweight star Anthony Joshua, who despite still wanting to fight Deontay Wilder for all the belts in his pre-booked April 13th date at Wembley, looks ever more likely to face the winner of Saturday’s highly anticipated rematch between Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora. If that does happen it will come as a blow to the UK superstar whose promoter Eddie Hearn is still struggling to convince Wilder and his team to come to the UK in order to unify the heavyweight division rather than rematch a revitalised Tyson Fury. In fact, after all the politics and build up between Joshua and Wilder over the past year to eighteen months, if Wilder faces Fury and loses his WBC belt then Joshua and Wilder could potentially never meet after all. As Joshua has claimed that he will simply hunt the heavyweight belts until he possesses them all, meaning that a super fight between him and Fury could be on the cards sometime in the next year or so. Which, if it were to happen, would no doubt be one of the biggest if not the biggest fight in British boxing history.
If you enjoyed this article or any others on thesixyardring feel free to like/share/RT them or alternatively mention them to friends as you all discuss how have approached the fight differently in Fielding’s shoes before waking up to pizza box serving as your duvet for the night.