Canelo Alvarez makes short work of Rocky Fielding with NYC, DAZN debut
NEW YORK – What’s that old showbiz saying about leaving them wanting more?
Canelo Alvarez, who made short work of Rocky Fielding in the first bout of his record-breaking deal with streaming sports service DAZN, understand the business of boxing as well as he does the craft, and he left the 20,000 fans that packed Madison Square Garden on Saturday night wanting more.
Alvarez’s third-round stoppage wasn’t much of a contest, but his fans hadn’t come to see a fight. They knew Alvarez was too much for his game but terribly outclassed opponent. The heavily Mexican crowd had come to celebrate their nation’s most popular boxer since Julio Cesar Chavez, and Canelo, in his New York City debut, blew out the English super middleweight with the same violent efficiency that the “Grand Campeon” dismissed respectable-but-lesser foes, such as Greg Haugen or Terrence Alli 25 years ago.
Alvarez (51-1-2, 34 knockouts) dropped Fields four times during the pitifully one-sided showcase, proving that he was not only the sharper and quicker boxer, but also the stronger and more powerful athlete.
Alvarez, who started aggressively and with purpose, stalked Fielding (27-2, 15 KOs) with heavy left hooks to the body and head. Midway through the opening round, he dropped the Englishman with a surgical shot to the upper rib cage.
In Round 2, Alvarez added hard right hands – crosses, uppercuts and body shots – to his technical assault. He dropped Fielding with another left hook to the body near the end of the round.
In Round 3, Fielding gamely tried to rally with jabs and one-two combinations, which sparked a few heated exchanges, but the Liverpudlian got the worst of it. A right to the head put Fields down for the third time, another hook to the midsection scored knockdown No. 4, and referee Ricky Gonzalez had seen enough, waving the bout off at 2:38 of the round.
Alvarez landed 65% of his power shots, according to CompuBox stats. Almost half (48%) of his punches landed were body shots.
“The plan was to hurt the body, we thought he would susceptible to the body, and it felt like I hurt him every time I landed there,” Alvarez said.
Chavez, who was ringside doing commentary for Mexican network, TV Azteca, must have been proud.
Alvarez’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, was definitely proud.
“I didn’t promote this fight as the toughest opponent for Canelo, but it wasn’t easy either, because Rocky is so big,” De La Hoya said during the post-fight press conference, “but Canelo proved that he can deal with these bigger fighters, and that opens the door to fights in two divisions, middleweight or super middleweight.”
Alvarez won the Ring, WBC and WBA middleweight titles with a narrow majority decision over Gennady Golovkin in September. In October, Golden Boy Promotions announced Alvarez’s $365 million, five-year, 11-bout deal with DAZN, which also does business with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. Hearn promotes WBO middleweight beltholder Demetrius Andrade and works with IBF titleholder Daniel Jacobs, and DAZN is actively looking to sign Golovkin (along with every other network/platform), so hardcore fans have been thinking about unification and return bouts for Alvarez.
However, De La Hoya was noncommittal when asked who’s next for the Mexican star, who has a May 4 date at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas reserved.
“We’re going to decide that (with Team Canelo and DAZN) as a team, but we’ll do so after the holidays,” he said. “Don’t worry, we’re going to go after the top guys. Canelo always does that. I mean, who fights Golovkin in back-to-back fights? But fighting at 168 pounds (tonight) has opened the doors to another division, the pool has gotten bigger. He can fight in either division.
“I’m still a little weary of matching him with the top, top guys at 168 pounds, but he looked very good, very comfortable in there tonight. We might do it.”
Fielding, who held the WBA’s secondary title (which The Ring does not recognize), was the magazine’s No. 9-rated super middleweight. The top 168-pound fighters are: Ring/WBA champ Callum Smith (who is promoted by Hearn), WBC titleholder David Benavidez and IBF beltholder Jose Uzcategui (who are part of the Premier Boxing Champions and fight on Showtime and Fox).
A showdown with Smith is possible. Benavidez and Uzcategui are another story, but De La Hoya says don’t dismiss anything.
“We work with anybody,” he said. “This year we worked with Top Rank to bring you (Jorge) Linares-(Vasyiliy) Lomachenko. We worked with GGG Promotions, we worked with Eddie Hearn, we even worked with (Al) Haymon. We’re willing to work with whoever we need to bring fans the best fights.”