Former Super Welterweight and Middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez looks for his first world title in a third weight class later tonight (Sat., Dec. 15, 2018) when he faces WBA Super Middleweight titleholder Rocky Fielding live on DAZN from inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.
MMAmania will have LIVE coverage of Saturday’s main event. The four-fight DAZN broadcast begins at 9:00 p.m. ET, with the main event coming closer to midnight.
The card will also feature title defenses from Tevin Farmer and Katie Taylor, plus a Middleweight clash between knockout artist David Lemieux and former Olympian Tureano Johnson.
All eyes are on Canelo, though, so let’s see what his chances are.
Name: Saul “Canelo” Alvarez
Record: 50-1-2, 34 KO
Last Five Fights: Gennady Golovkin (MD), Gennady Golovkin (Split Draw), Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (UD), Liam Smith (KO-9)
Significant Victories (other than those mentioned above): Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout
Name: Rocky Fielding
Record: 27-1, 15 KO
Last Five Fights: Tyron Zeuge (TKO-5), Karel Horjsek (UD), David Brophy (TKO-1), John Ryder (SD), Istvan Zeller (TKO-2)
Significant Victories (other than those mentioned above): Luke Blackledge, Brian Vera
There are currently five champions at Super Middleweight. David Benavidez held the WBC title before testing positive for cocaine, leaving him “Champion-in-Recess” while Anthony Dirrell fights Avni Yildrim for the main title. Fielding has the regular WBA title, while Callum Smith, who knocked Fielding out in one round before ultimately getting the “Super” belt in his Super Series-winning victory over George Groves in September. The other two champs are Venezuelan knockout artist Jose Uzcategui (IBF) and unbeaten Mexican southpaw Gilberto Ramirez (WBO).
There’s a reason Canelo picked Fielding.
The Brit, who admittedly looked solid in upsetting previous champ Tyron Zeuge in July, is tailor-made for Alvarez. Fielding likes to throw lengthy combinations in the pocket, showing solid variety but looping his punches too much. Alvarez thrives on the inside, and he’s far quicker and more precise with his hands.
Worse, Fielding is neither a ferocious puncher nor ostensibly adept at imposing his weight, meaning he can’t use his size advantage to its greatest effect. Alvarez, meanwhile, will have a clear speed edge with both his hands and feet.
Fielding does attack the body well, a strategy we don’t see used against Canelo enough, but he just doesn’t have enough firepower to offset the rib-roasters Alvarez is going to chuck at him in return. Unless he can get the attrition going early, he’s going to be outgunned in his own wheelhouse.
Fielding’s volume and Canelo’s inexperience at the weight may bank the former a couple of rounds. Once Canelo gets settled, though, expect him to handily outbrawl Fielding before ultimately stopping him with body shots.
Prediction: Alvarez via eighth-round knockout