Canelo Alvarez goes from beating the fearsome Gennady Golovkin in September to challenging Rocky Fielding this weekend and, by doing so, creates one of the unlikeliest showdowns of 2018. And make no mistake about it, this super-middleweight 12-rounder is purely of Team Canelo’s making.
But why would Canelo Alvarez, the most marketable fighter on the planet, switch his focus to a fighter like Fielding who will be largely unknown to punters in and around New York’s Madison Square Garden, where the bout is being staged?
Well, first and foremost, because he can. He’s Canelo. And he has recently signed a five-year, 11-fight, deal with streaming service, DAZN worth a mind-boggling $365m. So, in essence, he can fight who he likes from here on in.
But Fielding hasn’t just been plucked from obscurity in a similar way that namesake Rocky Balboa was by Apollo Creed way back when. The Merserysider has a shiny belt. He can, thanks to the World Boxing Association’s shameless habit of creating several ‘world’ titles per division, call himself a ‘world’ champion. Try not to get hoodwinked into believing that.
Add to that the fact 31-year-old Fielding is a super-middleweight, a weight class in which Canelo is yet to rule, and the marketeers will – excuse the pun – have a field day with this one.