By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Canelo Alvarez and Rocky Fielding don’t anticipate the type of weight difference between them Saturday night many might expect.
Alvarez estimated Thursday that he’ll weigh 173 pounds once the opening bell rings at Madison Square Garden. England’s Fielding approximated that he’ll weigh 178 or 179 pounds when his first defense of the WBA world super middleweight title begins.
Mexico’s Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) will fight at the super middleweight limit of 168 pounds for the first time when he faces Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs). There is a rehydration clause in their contracts that’ll prohibit Fielding from adding more than 10 pounds over 168 for a second-day weigh-in Saturday morning.
“It’s interesting to see what he’ll weigh in at, and what he put on,” Fielding told a group of reporters before a press conference Thursday at The Garden. “But I’ve brought a nutrition guy with me, who I’ve been with for years, all week. And we put on a comfortable weight. People think I’ll be [very heavy] in the ring. I don’t. I’m comfortable. … I don’t know. We might be the same weight. I don’t know. Like I say, I’m just focused on meself – what I’m comfortable at and what I’m sharp at and what I’m strong at.”
Earlier in his career, Fielding weighed much more on fight nights than what he’ll weigh against Alvarez. The Liverpool native learned, however, that he boxed better when he was lighter.
“People think I go up. ‘Rocky will be 190 in the ring,’ this and that,” Fielding said. “And in the past I have been at that, and I didn’t feel the sharpest. And with experience now, a nutrition team and the strength that I’ve been putting on – the strength and conditioning work is – I feel good.”
The 31-year-old Fielding mostly fought at light heavyweight during the beginning of his 10-year pro career. He has almost exclusively competed at super middleweight over the past five years.
The 28-year-old Alvarez has boxed above the middleweight limit of 160 pounds just once. That fight – an easy 12-round, unanimous-decision victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May 2017 – was contested at a contracted catch weight of 164½ pounds.
The two-division champion isn’t sure, though, that the taller, slightly heavier Fielding will benefit all that much from being bigger than him.
“Really, I don’t know if you would call it an advantage,” Alvarez said. “Maybe he has it because he’s the one who’s higher up in weight and because I’m going to be going into his comfort zone. That’s the risk I’m taking. But I’m a strong fighter and I know how to adapt to that. And Saturday, you will see that.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.