Rocky Fielding is going into his all-Liverpool showdown with fellow unbeaten super-middleweight Callum Smith full of confidence.
The pair will meet at the Echo Arena on November 7 for the British title, which Callum’s older brother, Paul, vacated.
While some, including Callum himself, claim Smith is the better fighter entering the contest, Fielding insists he holds the edge.
“I don’t think he’s a level above me. Yeah, it’s a good 50-50 fight but I’m the better fighter,” he told Boxing News.
“With his step ups, [Nikola] Sjekloca and [Christopher] Rebrasse, he’s gone 12 rounds whereas with my step ups, [Noe Gonzalez] Alcoba and [Brian] Vera, I’ve knocked them out. Every time he has to make 12 stone he goes the distance, every time I have to make 12 stone I’ve knocked them out.
“Rebrasse caught him with a lot of shots but Rebrasse can’t punch. If I hit him with those shots, I can do damage, I know that.”
Having trained alongside each other at the Rotunda gym as amateurs, there is history between the two but both have noted there is no personal rivalry – it is strictly business.
“There’s no bad blood there, we’re just both unbeaten fighters from the same city and we both want to be world champions,” Fielding said.
“There’s nothing bad to say about him, he just has the same ambitions as me so it’s going to be a good fight.
“We’ve been in the amateurs and sparred but it’s totally different now. I watched him in the amateurs and as a pro, he does what he does but I can’t see any change in his style from what he had in the amateurs, he just has a bit more power now.
“There are things that I’ve seen that we can take advantage of, what he’s good at and his weaknesses.”
With both holding lofty rankings with several governing bodies, there are those that feel Smith and Fielding are taking a large risk in facing each other so early in their careers, but Rocky disagrees.
“It’s a good fight at the right time in our careers. I want to get my chance to fight for a world title, no matter if I have to fight Callum or anyone else to get it,” he mused.
“It’s a good fight for the city, everyone’s talking about it. It was going to happen no matter what, this year, next year, in two years, because everyone wants to see it.”