Canelo Alvarez vs. Rocky Fielding: Prediction, fight card, odds, date, expert pick, DAZN
Canelo faces a stiff test in moving up a weight class to face the relative unknown Fielding at MSG
In what feels like an abrupt return just three months removed from a slugfest against Gennady Golovkin in their all-action rematch, middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez will effectively begin the second phase of his career.
In his first fight with new all-sports streaming app DAZN after signing a landmark deal worth a minimum of $365 million over 11 fights, Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) will also be flashing his traditional dare-to-be-great spirit by making his debut at 168 pounds.
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Alvarez, 28, will challenge WBC "regular" super middleweight titleholder Rocky Fielding in the main event of card that doubles as the Mexican star's debut at New York's Madison Square Garden (DAZN, 9 p.m. ET).
"It's a big fight. We have to see how I adapt to this weight but I feel good and I'm strong," Alvarez told CBS Sports. "I'm willing to pass this challenge because this is a challenge. I'm looking to win the title and it's a challenge that I'm going to overcome."
Despite the fact that a cut above his right eye that he suffered against Golovkin still hasn't fully healed, Alvarez will attempt to capture his third world title in as many divisions in what amount to his quickest turnaround since 2011. His opponent is the quiet, almost unassuming Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs), a native of Englandentering his U.S. debut.
But even more than adding another title belt while testing the waters at 168 pounds, Alvarez coming back so quickly allows DAZN a high-profile chance to begin to recoup some of its money spent acquiring such a valuable free agent in the aftermath of HBO's decision to cease boxing coverage after 45 years. DAZN is reportedly in talks with GGG in hopes of booking a trilogy fight, although.
Despite the inherent pressure upon Alvarez to continue seeking big fights (and winning them) as arguably the new face of DAZN (along with unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua), Alvarez said he isn't worried about whether Saturday's return boosts subscriptions significantly.
Canelo Alvarez -1600
Rocky Fielding (c) +800
Super middleweight title
Tevin Farmer (c) -2250
Francisco Fonseca +950
Super featherweight title
Sadam Ali -1800
Mauricio Herrera +850
Ryan Garcia -5000
Braulio Rodriguez +1100
"No they don't [put pressure on me]. They are business people and that's why they made the deal with me," Alvarez said. "My responsibility and my dedication is what I will do in the ring in my fights and they will do their part. We will grow together because we are a team."
The 31-year-old Fielding, who enters as a heavy underdog, fulfilled the same role in July when he accepted a late offer to travel to Germany where he captured the title via fifth-round TKO in unbeaten Tyron Zeuge's backyard. He's hoping to repeat that magic on Saturday, nearly three years to the day that he first visited MSG as a tourist and dreamed of one day headlining the building.
"I don't think they would be stupid to overlook me. I think he'll come prepared," Fielding told CBS Sports. "But he's just off a 12-round war with Glolovkin and his body is just healing now and had to go back into a 10-week camp. What did he put his body through? Everybody wakes up on the wrong side of the bed now and then and in my case that could be a good thing. I've seen the cut and it looks fresh still. These are the things that could help where he can't spar for a couple more weeks because of the cut. It could get interesting."
Alvarez has steadily maintained that his move to 168 pounds will likely be a one-off, although he kept the door open for future options. Despite the clear business realities in play, Alvarez said his decision to come back so soon ultimately came down to desire.
"I love boxing. I like being here and I like fighting and I like training," Alvarez said. "If I could fight everyday I would love it. I want to end this year strong with honor and with my intention of winning this world title. And I want to be one of only 10 Mexican fighters to win world championships in three different divisions.
"I don't get overconfident. I know that in boxing, anything can happen so I'm going to be prepared because it's going to be a big fight and the confidence I get, I get from my training."
Fielding enters with dramatic advantages in terms of height and reach. Sadly, however, that's largely where his advantages end.
Along with not being considered a big puncher for the weight class, Fielding's biggest issue opposite Alvarez will likely be hand speed and his plodding nature. Alvarez, already considered by some to be a small middleweight, should have the quickness to box circles around him while avoiding the jab and setting up counter shots.
Fielding is short on both explosiveness and experience at the highest levels, which make him a perfect opponent in many ways for Alvarez to use the fight as a flashy debut for DAZN and a long-awaited debut at such a renowned building that has hosted nearly every legend in the sport's history.
Look for Alvarez to slowly break Fielding down, particularly to the body. Eventually that will lower Fielding's guard and set Alvarez up for a late stoppage.
Pick: Alvarez via TKO9
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