By Keith Idec
Negotiations for the Canelo Alvarez-Rocky Fielding fight didn’t at all resemble the countless discussions it took to finalize a deal for the Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin rematch.
Fielding obviously didn’t have the leverage Golovkin owned before what was a much higher-profile fight September 15 in Las Vegas. And once that huge opportunity came of nowhere, Fielding and his promoter, Eddie Hearn, weren’t about to blow it by trying to squeeze every last penny out of the deal.
England’s Fielding will defend his portion of the WBA’s super middleweight title against Alvarez on December 15 at Madison Square Garden.
“I got a text from Eric Gomez, saying, ‘Can you talk?,’ ” Hearn told IFL TV, referencing Golden Boy Promotions’ president. “It’s always nice to get a text from Eric Gomez saying that, because it’s obviously something interesting. And he said to me, ‘What’s Rocky Fielding’s plans?’ And I said, ‘Well, we’re looking at our first defense.’ And he said, ‘Will he fight Canelo at Madison Square Garden on December 15th?’ And when I dropped the phone, it took me a while to pick it up and then I said, ‘Of course.’
“We negotiated very quickly. Look, it’s always your job to get the max for your fighter, but you can’t get too greedy in that instance because it’s easy for them to go elsewhere. So we spoke to Rocky Fielding, we spoke to MTK, we came up with a package that we wanted and, you know, we got it. And, you know, again, it’s like a dream come true for Rocky Fielding.”
The 28-year-old Alvarez, the WBA/WBC middleweight champion, will move up from 160 pounds to 168 to face Fielding. If Alvarez wins, the Mexican superstar technically will become a champion in a third weight class.
The 31-year-old Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) won the WBA’s world super middleweight title when he stopped Germany’s Tyron Zeuge (23-1-1, 13 KOs) in the fifth round on July 14 in Offenburg, Germany.
England’s Callum Smith (25-1, 18 KOs) is considered the WBA’s true 168-pound champion. Before he knocked out George Groves (28-4, 20 KOs) in the seventh round September 28 to win the WBA “super” super middleweight title, Smith dealt Fielding his lone loss when he floored Fielding three times and stopped him 2:45 into the first round of their November 2015 bout in Liverpool, England.
Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) has been installed as at least a 20-1 favorite by most Internet sports books.
“[Fielding] wins the fight by trying to use his size,” Hearn said. “He can punch very hard, he’s got a lot of confidence, but he’s fighting the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. So he’s a massive [underdog]. But I promise you, knowing Rocky Fielding, he won’t quit, he’ll stand his ground and he’ll try every second of the fight to try and beat Canelo.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.