Monday 16 September 2019

No fairytale for Rocky as Canelo confirms his worth

Down and almost out: Rocky Fielding takes a knee after being knocked down by Canelo Alvarez. Photo: AP/Frank Franklin II
Down and almost out: Rocky Fielding takes a knee after being knocked down by Canelo Alvarez. Photo: AP/Frank Franklin II

Steve Bunce

An ugly night in New York. It was over long before it finished for Rocky Fielding in his lost cause against the dual forces of Saul Canelo Alvarez and the undeniable might of the boxing business in Madison Square Garden - an iconic venue in the middle of New York City transformed for one night only into a Mexican bullring.

Fielding went down four times, took a knee to get a break from the punches that slipped through his guard, ruined his crafted plans and had his body battered until it was raw like a whipping victim.

The mariachi band played as the winner raised his hands.

The referee had no option after 2:38 of round three and waved off the bold attempt by Fielding to defend his world title against the sport's number one attraction at the box office.


Canelo, as he is known, took the first of 11 steps in a contract that demands he fights for five more years and makes a minimum of $365 million for his trouble and for the pain he causes others.

The Mexican is good at pain and has piled up a hefty wall of British victims, cut, hurt, dropped and, in the case of Amir Khan, left them cold on the canvas.

He has lost just once in 54 fights, turned professional when he was only 15 and restricts his smiling to when he has beaten the man in the other corner.

If he had a gun he would be the coldest-eyed sicario in Cartel history, ruthless and doomed.

In the boxing world he is a saviour, the highest paid fighter; it's a thin-line between hero and villain.

Fielding knew his role from the moment he received the call, accepted the fight and started watching tapes of the Mexican ruining other fighters.

The only thing Fielding failed to do in the minutes, hours and days after the fight was agreed was worry about the money.

"I had a fight with Canelo and it was in Madison Square Garden - that's all I needed to know," Fielding said a few weeks ago.

Fielding is six inches taller, should have been naturally about ten pound heavier.

However, physical advantages are no obstacles to Canelo, and he closed the gap between the pair, kept his hands high, found the spot under Fielding's right elbow and went about his work with a chilling efficiency.

Fielding went down in round one and two from short body hooks, a right to the head dropped him for the first of two counts in the third.

The last knockdown was another left under the elbow and the referee did the wise thing and waved it off.

The bullring erupted, New York has a new star and Canelo allowed himself a smile to absorb the adoration of a smart crowd in the ancient hall.

Fielding can return, find a way at 31 to another fight of significance in a British super-middleweight division heavy with old and new 12-stone men.

Fielding had to fight the wrong fight to make it to the third round, and like so many emboldened British sluggers over the years, he returns a little sore and a little richer from a painful but unforgettable American experience.

For Canelo the list of opponents is swelling hourly now that he is officially boxing's number one cash cow, the man with the money and the banking ability to reward your suffering with a record fee.


There is Gennady Golovkin, twice foiled by judges in brilliant scraps with Canelo, an American called Danny Jacobs, who beat cancer to defy the experts and win a world title, several smaller men with wild ambitions, a kid called Callum Smith from Liverpool, who once beat Fielding in a round, and a few freak fights.

Anybody for Canelo and Conor McGregor? Or an end to exile for Floyd Mayweather, who back in 2013 inflicted the only defeat on Canelo's record.

It's a long and varied and possibly desperate list of fighters, all willing for the right price to meet the outstanding fighter in his division.

Rocky Fielding was just the first of the eleven in Canelo's long contract and he could have done no more, suffered no more than he did at the harsh end of the blurred fists of the ginger-haired Mexican, the man who would be boxing's new king. (© Independent News Service)

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