Canelo & Rocky Approach A Career Defining Fight
On December 15th, both Canelo Alvarez and Rocky Fielding make their debuts inside Madison Square Garden in a battle for Fielding’s WBA super middleweight title. For Alvarez, this feels like a coronation, as he looks to become one of only a handful of Mexican fighters to become a three-division world champion. Across the ring, Fielding stands under the brightest lights he’s ever faced.
Fielding, who makes his first ever world title defense against Alvarez, told FIGHT SPORTS that he’s taking it all in. “I’m a world champion at Madison Square Garden, I’m enjoying it… I’m enjoying the moment,” Fielding said on Thursday.
For the Liverpool native who fights outside of the United Kingdom only for the second time, this is either his chance to shine, or get caught up in the spotlight.
“From Germany, it was 800 people, I had half the support, to here, the media, the fight week, it’s massive. But this is where you’re at when you’re at the elite level and this is what you’ve got to come and do.”
Prior to taking up boxing for fitness purposes, Fielding was a footballer who never dreamed he’d be fighting on the sport’s biggest stage, claiming if you told him this on his first day of training he’d have given someone a “clip on the ears.”
But this is where the father of two sits, as he walks in as the overwhelming underdog against Alvarez, who looks to cap a year where he defeated Gennady Golovkin by winning a third world title in as many weight classes.
Speaking with two of the men who have helped guided Alvarez into superstardom, Bernard Hopkins and Oscar De La Hoya, they feel that Alvarez is ready to take command of the sport.
“When you’re excited about something, and you know you’re finally able to be at that dance, I think from talking to Canelo personally… Canelo’s ready,” claimed former world champion Bernard Hopkins.
“He wanted to be here,” Hopkins claimed of Alvarez wanting to fight at Madison Square Garden.
“He wanted to be where the greats fought… The Ray Robinsons, Ali-Frazier, Hopkins-Trinidad… This is the sign for me to say that he dared to be great.”
According to De La Hoya, fighting in Madison Square Garden is a different type of energy compared to anything Canelo has ever dealt with, whether it be fighting in the T-Mobile Arena or even at AT&T Stadium.
“The crowd expects everything from you… They make you fight, they want to see action” De La Hoya said of the New York boxing fans. “I remember when I came out and fought against Darrell Coley and Jesse James Leija, the crowd was electrifying, it was loud. The crowd expects everything from you.
“I think this crowd at Madison Square Garden, aside from the building alone, will bring the best out of Canelo and Rocky.”
“At the young age of 28, Canelo has been in front of thousands and thousands of people from all over the world, and he asked for this. He asked to fight on the biggest stage in boxing, and that’s Madison Square Garden.”
Even though Canelo is making his first entry into super middleweight against the taller Fielding, De La Hoya echoed his fighter in thinking there will be a knockout on Saturday night.
“After seeing him last week in sparring, manhandling light heavyweights, I think Canelo can get the knockout in the later rounds.
Canelo Alvarez and Rocky Fielding face off for Fielding’s WBA super middleweight title on December 15th at Madison Square Garden, airing on DAZN.