FOR the first time in his career, Canelo Alvarez has weighed 167.4lbs, his career highest for what will be only his second contest above the middleweight limit.
He takes on Liverpool’s Rocky Fielding for the WBA’s ‘regular’ super-middleweight and Alvarez hopes to pick up a belt in a third weight class at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday (December 15).
At Friday’s lively weigh in at the famous New York venue, Rocky scaled 167.6lbs, smiling as he made the weight. He loomed over Alvarez in their last face-off ahead of Saturday’s fight. Neither gave much away in the icy staredown but Alvarez had to crane his neck back a touch to glare up at Fielding. Canelo tapped Fielding on the shoulder to call a halt to proceedings.
Rocky for his part looked just as unfazed as he has done all week. This is the Liverpudlian’s first pro fight in America and the first time he will have experienced the level of competition and acclaim that for Canelo Alvarez is now quite routine. But despite the new found attention, seeing his image plastered across everything from taxi cabs to the billboards of Madison Square Garden, and despite having crowds of journalists and boxing fans throng round him all week, Fielding has appeared to be relaxed, seemingly taking it all in his stride.
But he will need to be at his very best on Saturday, and use all of his advantages in size and reach to trouble Canelo Alvarez. It’s still interesting to note that when the Mexican made his pro debut, all the way back in 2005, Alvarez was a mere 139lbs. Fielding began his professional career in 2010 at 171lbs. He is the bigger man. The question is whether he can make that count tomorrow at Madison Square Garden.
On the undercard Tevin Farmer defends his IBF super-featherweight title against Francisco Fonseca. Farmer had to strip to make the weight but was exactly 130lbs. Fonseca weighed 129 1/2lbs.
Unified IBF and WBA boss Katie Taylor boxes Finland’s Eva Wahlstrom. The latter scaled 133 1/2lbs, the Irish star weighed 134.2lbs.
New York’s own Sadam Ali, the former WBO super-welter champion and the conqueror of Miguel Cotto at this same venue a year ago, returns to welterweight, weighing in at 147lbs. “I’ll always remember that moment,” Ali said of beating Cotto at Madison Square Garden, “and I hope to feel that moment again.”
Coming back from defeat to Jaime Munguia, Ali takes on Mauricio Herrera, who was 146lbs, over 10 rounds tomorrow.
Golden Boy prospect Ryan Garcia (134 3/4lbs) fights Braulio Rodriguez (133 1/4lbs), Lamont Roach (129 1/2lbs) meets Alberto Mercado (129 1/4lbs), Yves Ulysse boxes Maximiliano Becerra (both 139lbs), while Australian super-middle Bilal Akkawy (167.4lbs) takes on Victor Fonseca (166.2lbs) on the bill.
Canadian middleweight David Lemieux was due to box Tureano Johnson on the undercard but had to withdraw from the show, suffering from dehydration. Vergil Ortiz, who had a 10 rounder with Omar Tienda scheduled on the bill, will also no longer compete.