A National Football League coach named Denny Green famously and angrily uttered "They were who were we thought they were!" in response to a question during a post-game interview. Meaning, he wasn't surprised nor thrown off by what the opposing team presented to his. In that vein, Rocky Fielding (27-2, 15 KO’s) proved to be exactly who Team Canelo thought he was, as well as Pugilism Company. Fielding offered as much resistance as a teen-aged female in a slasher film, in route to meekly relinquishing his newly acquired WBA super middleweight crown to boxing superstar, Canelo Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KO’s), in the 3rd round. The bout was shown live on DAZN from Madison Square Garden in New York city.
Despite Canelo’s name being first on the fight poster, Canelo being the house fighter, his promoter staging the event and receiving the lion’s share of the proceeds, Fielding was the defending champion. His one bit of leverage was the fact his title was the only thing at stake in this meeting and as such Rocky should’ve flexed the one bit of negotiating muscle he had, forcing Canelo to enter the ring first, like every other challenger does in just about every other world championship bout. Nonetheless, it was Fielding, seemingly happy to be there, walking to the squared circle first. This was would prove to be just the first glimpse of how overmatched Rocky was, when all was said and done.
As futile as Fielding’s efforts were, he did at least try though, bringing the fight to the smaller, shorter Alvarez at the opening bell, firing first and often. Canelo calmly picked off the incoming behind a high guard and had Fielding in retreat by the middle of the stanza. Left hooks to the body, sometimes to the head and the occasional right cross backed Rocky to the ropes and a digging hook deposited him to one knee. He managed to beat the count and survive the round, but Canelo battered his body for his troubles. Canelo bullied Fielding to the ropes in the 2nd, unleashing with both hands, most prominently downstairs, while sneaking in rights upstairs. A series of left hooks to the breadbasket dropped Fielding once again, near the end of the frame. The writing was on the wall and Alvarez was in kill mode to begin the 3rd. A body-shot flurry made Fielding’s knees dip and a hard right hook to the head resulted in a third knockdown. Just for good measure, Canelo dropped Rocky a fourth and final with what else, a left hook to the body.
Four knockdowns in just three rounds; Fielding was game, but outgunned. He brought a slingshot to a grenade party and his inferior weaponry proved to be no match. In fact, having just won a third world title in as many divisions (joining famed countrymen Julio Cesar Chavez, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez and others), Canelo’s never garnered a belt with less fuss. All told he had a landed body-shot margin of 35-3 and connected with 52% of his total punches; target practice in other words. Alvarez was vague about his next move. On one hand he said he felt strong and comfortable at ’68 because he “didn’t have to dehydrate to make weight”, yet he’s not opposed to a rubber match with Gennady Golovkin at ’60 either. Canelo kept harping on “making the best fights” without naming names, and didn’t acknowledge one way or the other if being undisputed middleweight champion matters to him. There’s a lot to sort out for sure, will he remain at super middle or move back down to where the big names reside? What we do know is the easiest big fight to make would be against IBF 160 pound ruler, Daniel Jacobs. Like Canelo, Jacobs will also be fighting on DAZN, so there’d be little no promotional or network entanglements preventing this one from occurring.