By Dan Ambrose: Eddie Hearn is saying that there is a 10 pound rehydration clause in the contract for the Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Rocky Fielding fight on December 15, which limits the amount of weight the two fighters can gain back for the second day weigh-in on the morning of the fight.
There’s no word whether there’s a huge weight penalty for the second day weigh-in if one of the fighters comes in over the 178 lb rehydration limit. For Canelo’s fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May 2017, there was said to be a big weight penalty.
A lot of boxing fans were wondering how Canelo (50-1-2, 34 KOs) would handle Fielding’s huge size advantage. Now they know. Adding a second day weigh-in with a rehydration limit of just 10 lbs to 178 lbs will give Canelo the tool that he needs to handle Fielding’s size advantage. It sort of taints the fight. When a fighter challenges for a world title, they should be able to do it without asking for a rehydration limit or a catchweight. In this case, Canelo isn’t asking for a catchweight, but the 178 lb rehydration limit for both fighters tilts the playing fielding playing field in favor of Canelo.
Despite Fielding being the world champion and the fight being for his WBA super middleweight title, the 10 lb rehydration clause greatly favors the challenger Canelo, who isn’t as big and likely won’t put on as much weight. However, Canelo is the A-side in the promotion, and that means he was able to ask for certain things that a normal challenger couldn’t do in fighting for a world title. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that Canelo has had a catchweight involved when he fought for a world title. In Canelo’s fight for the vacant WBC light middleweight title in March 2011, he fought at a catchweight against welterweight Matthew Hatton. Four years later, Canelo’s bout against WBC junior middleweight champion Miguel Cotto took place at a 155 lb catchweight in November 2015.
This is move by Canelo’s side to keep Fielding from being able to use his size to beat him. Fielding usually rehydrates into the 180s, but if can’t do that due to the 10 lb rehydration limit, he could wind weakened. Just why Golden Boy Promotions would want Fielding vs. Canelo to have a 10 lb rehydration limit that prevents the fighters to go over 178 lb on the morning of the fight seems like a similar move that we saw in the Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. PPV contest in 2017. That fight was fought at a 164.5 lb catchweight, which made it tough on Chavez Jr. to make weight. Chavez Jr. reportedly started training camp at 235 lbs. There was no way that Chavez Jr. was going to be able to take off 70.5 lbs in eight weeks and be strong on the night of the fight against Canelo. For the boxing fans that complained about Chavez Jr’s performance that night, they didn’t understand how much weight he had to take off to make the 164.5 lb catchweight for the Canelo fight. It obviously wouldn’t have mattered whether the fight took place at the full weight for the super middleweight division at 168. As heavy as Chavez Jr. was when he first started training for the Canelo fight, he never stood a chance. To take off the kind of weight that Chavez Jr. was weighing at the start of training camp, he would have needed a lot longer than just two months in order not to strip off muscle and wind up weight drained.
Canelo, 28, already had a big advantage over the 6’2” Fielding in terms of talent. Canelo could have picked the arguably more talented super middleweight champions to fight instead of Fielding. Picking out Fielding from this list of fighters seems to indicate that he was picked by Canelo because he was perceived as the weakest of the 168 lb champions: David Benavidez, Callum Smith and Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez.
With the 178 lb rehydration limit for the fight, whatever small chance that the 31-year-old Fielding had to win has gone down the drain. If Fielding is unable to rehydrate into the 180s until after the secondary weigh-in, he’s likely going to be weak and lethargic for the fight.
After the controversy surrounding Canelo’s last two fights against former middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, it’s important that he looks impressive in defeating Fielding. Adding a 10 lb rehydration clause that keeps his weight at no higher than 178 lbs for a secondary weigh-in, which would normally not take place, greatly increases the chances for Canelo to win impressively.
Fielding is happy to be getting the fight against Canelo, so perhaps he won’t grumble too much about having to keep his weight at no higher than 178 lbs on the morning of the fight.
Hopefully, we don’t see Canelo moving up to light heavyweight next and having a catchweight or a rehydration limit that basically makes the fight a super middeweight level contest rather than a light heavyweight.