By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
ROCKY FIELDING certainly has a boxer’s name.
But the Liverpool super-middleweight says his dad didn’t call him that as a tribute to Sylvester Stallone’s fighting film star.
“I was the 10lb baby that looked like a rock,” said Fielding, who is preparing for the biggest fight of his career against local rival Callum Smith in a fortnight’s time.
“I was 10lb when I was born. My dad got hold of me and apparently I looked like I was a rock.”
Rocky, whose mum is the only one to call him by his real name of Michael, may have a moniker suited to the sport but he has always been in the shadows.
The 28-year-old represented his country as an amateur and worked his way through some of Liverpool’s top amateur clubs from Stockbridge, to Salisbury and on to Rotunda, a club he shared with Smith and his siblings.
He turned professional in 2010 to little or no fanfare and remained below the radar as he climbed the ranks with an unblemished record of 21 wins, landing a Commonwealth super-middleweight title in the process.
His opponent on November 7, Smith, is one of four fighting brothers – Paul, Stephen and world champion Liam being the others – and as a former GB amateur star he was a prized asset when he changed codes.
Smith, who is Fielding’s junior by three years, has been hailed as the next in line to challenge IBF champion James DeGale.
“I’m not bothered about it,” said Fielding, who is convinced he can win his British title battle at the city’s Echo Arena.
“He has come through the amateurs and gone straight to a promoter. I built myself up on smallhall shows, selling tickets.
“If I get this fight out the way then there will be plenty made around me. I’ve done all I’ve had to do.
”Fielding is unfazed that the bout is an eliminator for the WBC title held by Badou Jack and has ensured he has every base covered in training – even beating the traffic blues from Liverpool to trainer Oliver Harrison’s Salford gym.
“My brother Dean came up with a plan,” he said.
“I have to train twice, three times a day and he said he’d get me this bus and a driver. My friend is the driver.
“I just sit in the back. I have a TV and there’s a phone in the back to... tell him to slow down or watch the speed bumps.
“Every little percentage matters at this level. I will be back driving after my fight. I won’t be getting chauffeured around all the time!”