CANELO ALVAREZ has played it cool this week. Not prone to excitement, he’s treated tonight’s opponent Rocky Fielding with respect. He’s pointed out the Liverpudlian’s greater size, which was clear enough when the two went head to head at the weigh in on Friday, but still insists that will give Fielding no great advantage when they fight later on tonight at Madison Square Garden, New York.
But Canelo said, “I don’t know if you would call it an advantage. Maybe he has it because he’s the one who’s higher up in weight.”
He has however put in a rehydration clause, Rocky wasn’t allowed to come in more than 10lbs overs the super-middleweight limit (168lbs) this morning.
That though did not bother the Briton. “Because I’m big for the weight they might think that I’ll struggle and I’ll put it all back on. But that’s not the case,” Fielding told Boxing News. “I carry it well now. I used to think going in heavier would be better.
“I know he’s explosive with his speed and that. He was blasting everyone away at light-middle. He was a monster. He stepped up to 160lbs, he’s gone the distance, [against] Cotto, Golovkin. Are they taking his punches better?”
Alvarez is certainly motivated to beat Fielding and win the WBA ‘regular’ title that Rocky holds. “Glory and history and legacy is very important to me. I don’t care about what the critics think about how easy this fight is. I know what I have in front of me. I’m prepared to do that and make history,” Canelo declared.
Loyalty matters too. “Me and my team we started from nothing, we started from scratch. So I’m proud I can say what very few fighters can. I made it to the top with that team,” he said.
Nor does he intend to lose that lofty position now. His family is an inspiration to him too and he has had them close throughout his training camp.
“It always a motivation for me. My kids are a motivation for me. My kids are a motivation, imagine it, I have a fight that’s so close and to have them so far, it’s a motivation to have them so close to me,” he said.
Fielding may not be a superstar like Alvarez but they do have that in common. As he told Boxing News here, all of this, this huge fight, all the build up, the pressure and the tension is to provide for his young children.
“I’ve got a two year old and 13 week old baby, it’s for them now,” he said. “It is hard at the start of your career when you’ve got to sell your tickets. I remember sitting in a Tesco car park at 11 of a night … to getting here and fighting the biggest name in boxing.”
The final chapter of this particular story is at hand.
*Officials for tonight’s fight will be referee Ricky Gonzalez and judges Eric Marlinski, John McKaie and Kevin Morgan.