Updated: Dec 15, 2018
On Saturday, December 15th, Mexican superstar Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will move up to super middleweight to challenge the UK’s Michael “Rocky” Fielding for his WBA title at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Canelo vs. Rocky can be watched live in the USA on DAZN and on Sky Sports Main Event in the UK.
Tale of the Tape – Canelo vs. Rocky
|Saul Alvarez||Michael Fielding|
|Record||50-1-2 (34 KOs)||27-1 (15 KOs)|
|Reach||70 1/2″||73 1/2″|
Fight Breakdown – Canelo vs. Rocky
At 28 years old, Canelo Alvarez is already arguably the biggest star in boxing. A two-division champion, Alvarez boasts a resume that includes wins over Austin Trout, Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto, and Gennady Golovkin. Although his September majority decision win over Golovkin was not without controversy, Alvarez proved once again that he is a strong, determined, elite fighter deserving of his spot at the top of the sport. Now, Canelo looks to secure a title in a third weight class against his ‘biggest’ opponent yet.
Despite his champion status and obvious size advantage, England’s Rocky Fielding comes into the fight as a heavy underdog against Canelo, who I have as the #3 P4P fighter in the world. Fielding’s best win to date came in his last fight, a fifth-round TKO victory over then-undefeated WBA super middleweight champion Tyron Zeuge of Germany. Back in 2015, Fielding was stopped in the first round by countryman Callum Smith (who now owns the WBA “super” title at 168) in what is seen as his only fight against elite competition.
From what I have seen, Rocky is a tough fighter who does well against shorter opponents. Fielding is usually good at controlling distance and he has shown the ability to be able to box and move. In addition, Fielding has decent hand speed and throws good combinations, although he can get a little sloppy at times, leaving him open to counters. Lastly, while he has shown flashes of power and the ability to finish, I would not say Fielding hits hard for a super middleweight.
A counter-puncher by nature, Alvarez possesses quick reflexes, fast hands, and great punching power. Canelo has a well-rounded skillset and he seems to get better with each and every fight. In recent years, Alvarez has shown improvements in his accuracy and movement while displaying a granite chin. Though he has had conditioning issues in the past, at super middleweight I believe Canelo will be as strong and fit as ever.
If Canelo Alvarez does have a weakness relevant to this fight, it is that he has been outboxed at times (most notably in his only loss against Floyd Mayweather). Fielding has a significant height/reach advantage, but will he be able to use it? If he wants any chance to win, Rocky will have to move, use the jab, hit Alvarez on the way in, and stick to that gameplan for twelve full rounds. Canelo will look to close the gap, go to the body, and beat Fielding up.
Prediction – Canelo vs. Rocky
I predict a mid-round TKO victory for Canelo Alvarez. Fielding does a decent job of keeping his hands up, but many times he leaves himself open to body shots. If Canelo takes advantage of openings on the inside, namely to the body, he should stop Rocky with relative ease. I may be underestimating Fielding, and Canelo has failed to stop a lot of opponents we thought he would, but at 168 and coming off a strong showing against Golovkin, I think Alvarez will be looking to make a statement against the seemingly over-matched Brit.
What do you guys think? Comment below with your prediction for Canelo vs. Rocky.