By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Rocky Fielding was noticeably bigger than Canelo Alvarez when they stood face-to-face Wednesday.
The 6-feet-1 Fielding stands four inches taller than the 5-feet-9 Alvarez, who will move up from middleweight to super middleweight to challenge Fielding on December 15. Alvarez and his handlers have tried, however, to restrict Fielding’s size advantage entering their 12-round, 168-pound championship match at Madison Square Garden.
A rehydration clause in their contracts will prevent Fielding from adding more than 10 pounds over the super middleweight limit of 168 from the time they weigh in December 14 until a second-day weigh-in the morning of their fight. There won’t be any restrictions on how much weight Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) can add from the time of the second-day weigh-in until they enter the ring late the night of December 15.
“They wanted the rehydration clause for 10 pounds,” Eddie Hearn, Fielding’s promoter, said following a press conference Wednesday in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. “We weren’t bothered. Rocky will put on nine pounds overnight. And then he’ll put on another five or six pounds after that. I mean, he’s not gonna load up to 190 pounds. But he’s gonna be heavy. I reckon Canelo will have to give up 10 or 12 pounds on the night, something like that.
“But also, let’s be honest – Canelo is, technically, a better fighter than Rocky Fielding. So technically, the size difference makes the fight interesting and gives Rocky a good chance in the fight. Because if it was a middleweight fight, you would have to say Canelo, pound-for-pound, is one of the best fighters in the world and although Rocky’s a champion, with his size and he can punch very hard, that’s his advantage in the fight, is his size.”
Fielding figures he won’t put on much more than 10 pounds between the first weigh-in and fight night. He still expects to own a significant size advantage over Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs), the WBA/WBC middleweight champion.
“I don’t think he’s gonna put eight pounds of muscle on, or anything like that,” Fielding said. “So I make the weight comfortable, I’m big at the weight and he’s coming up. I don’t think he’s the biggest middleweight. He’s definitely nowhere near as big a super middleweight. So it’s challenge for him. It’s a massive challenge for me. He’s an elite fighter. He’s the pound-for-pound. He’s the new face of boxing.”
Mexico’s Alvarez, 28, hasn’t fought above a contracted weight of 164 pounds, the limit for his 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat of Julio Cesar Chavez in May 2017. England’s Fielding, 31, has competed at super middleweight and light heavyweight throughout his eight-year pro career.
“I don’t know what he’ll put on [after the weigh-in],” Fielding said. “I don’t know how he’ll make the weight. But I don’t put too much on [after the weigh-in]. I stick to a sensible weight, what I feel good at.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.