By Sean Jones: Saul Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) and Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) will be meeting next week on Wednesday, October 17 for a kickoff press conference to promote their December 15 fight at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Canelo and Fielding will get a chance to face off for the media. Next Wednesday’s press conference will be held at MSG in New York.
After the press conference in New York, Canelo will be flying to California to receive his Ring Magazine middleweight title, which will be the second time he’s held that title. The holder of the Ring middleweight title is the fighter believed to be the best in the 160 lb weight class. However, Canelo is still viewed as the #2 middleweight in the division by many boxing fans and members of the media due to him two controversial fights against Gennady Golovkin in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Alvarez starts his training camp next week in California with his trainers Chepo and Eddy Reynoso to get ready for his December 15 fight against WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding at Madison Square Garden in New York. Chepo and Eddy will also be training World Boxing Organization featherweight champion Oscar Valdez to get ready for his January fight.
“He’s [Canelo] stepping up in weight, and he’s not going to be a big super middleweight. I know how good he is, but we will come up with a plan to beat him. I know I can catch him and put him to sleep,” Fielding said about the 5’8” Canelo.
The WBC will be giving Canelo, 28 his World Boxing Council middleweight belt next Monday. This is the title that Canelo won last month in beating champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin by a 12 round majority decision in their rematch on September 15 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Two of the judges had Canelo winning by the scores 115-113, 115-113, while the third had the fight knotted up at 114-114. The vast majority of the boxing media, however, saw Golovkin winning.
Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions aren’t ready to give GGG a trilogy fight right now. They’ll decide when they feel the time is right to give GGG a third fight. Hopefully for Canelo and Golden Boy’s sake, Golovkin doesn’t lose to another fighter or retire from the sport. GGG is 36-years-old now, and he’s not going to be around for too much longer.
It was perhaps a mistake for Canelo to go back to Las Vegas for the second fight with Golovkin after the controversy of the first Canelo-GGG fight last year in September 2017, which also took place in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile. Not realizing that taking the fight back to Nevada was setting himself up to be viewed as having received favorable treatment by the judges in the eyes of fans, Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions went right back to the same city and venue as the first fight. It was viewed as a foolish move at the time the fight was made, and it turned out to be a disaster with Canelo once again receiving little credit due to a second controversial decision handed down by the Nevada judges.
It’s unclear why the Nevada judges continually scored the two Canelo-GGG fights differently from how the journalists and the fans saw the it. The controversy lingers to this day of how the judges scored the two Canelo vs. GGG fights, and it’s unfortunately tainted the accomplishment for the Golden Boy Promotions star.
Canelo will be trying to take the 31-year-old Fielding’s WBA 168 lb title to become a three-weight world champion, which will make him the tenth Mexican fighter to have accomplished that. In the past, fighters like Julio Cesar Chavez, Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales have won world titles in three weight classes. However, Canelo has been criticized by the boxing fans for his choice in picking Fielding to go after a world title at 168. Fielding isn’t seen as the best or even the second best of the four world champions at super middleweight. Fielding is viewed as the fourth best champion, which gives Canelo the appearance of a calculated cherry-picker to some boxing fans.
Beating Fielding for his 168 lb world title will cheapen Canelo’s accomplishment in the view of a lot of the fans of the sport. If Canelo wanted to impress the fans, he would face WBA Super World champion Callum Smith, WBC champion David Benavidez, WBO champion Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramírez or IBF champion Jose Uzcategui. If Canelo wins the WBA 168 lb belt, he’s not expected to remain at the weight. However, he hasn’t said what his plans are for the weight class. Some fans feel that Canelo is running from the top middleweights Jermall Charlo, Golovkin, Danny Jacobs and Billy Joe Saunders.
On the assumption that Canelo wins the WBA 168 lb title from Fielding, he won’t be given the Ring Magazine super middleweight belt. Fielding is rated #9 in the Rings top 10 ratings at 168. For Canelo to grab the Ring super middleweight title, he’s going to need to beat Ring champion Callum Smith (25-0, 18 KOs), which won’t be easy for him to do, because he’s looking hard to beat. Here are the Ring’s top 10 rankings at super middleweight:
Ring super middleweight champion: Callum Smith
1. Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez
2. David Benavidez
3. Jose Uzcategui
4. George Groves
5. James DeGale
6. Anthony Dirrell
7. Chris Eubank Jr.
8. Caleb Truax
9. Rocky Fielding
10. Jesse Hart
Out of that list, it’s arguably a toss-up between Fielding and the past his prime DeGale for which of the two deserves to be ranked #10. Jesse Hart deserves to be rated a lot higher than the #10 spot in the Ring’s ratings, because he almost beat Gilberto Ramirez in their fight last year in September 2017. Canelo taking Fielding’s WBA ‘regular 168 lb belt will put him in the cellar in the Ring’s ratings at super middleweight UNLESS they choose to shoot him straight to the top, which wouldn’t be all that surprising. In theory, a win for Canelo over #9 rated Fielding shouldn’t result him being moved to the top five in the Ring’s ratings at 168, but it’s possible that the Mexican star could be moved to that position if he looks good in winning.
Canelo will be training with Chepo and Eddy Reynoso in San Diego, California. Having Canelo’s training camp in California will help him avoid eating any tainted beef containing clenbuterol like what happened last February when he accidentally consumed beef that contained the performance enhancing substance when he was training for his May 5 rematch against Golovkin. The two positive tests that resulted from Canelo having eaten contaminated beef in Mexico led to the cancellation of the May 5 rematch against GG and a six-month suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Canelo will have the advantage to weigh-in eight pounds more at 168 than what he’s been weighing in at for his fights at middleweight. Canelo is rumored to have been rehydrating to the 180s for his fights at middleweight. Being able to weigh-in at 168 will make reducing weight a lot easier task for Canelo, because he won’t need to trim off nearly as much water weight to get down to the 168 lb weight limit compared to in the past. Canelo’s decision to fight at super middleweight for his December 15 fight could be a knee jerk reaction to him not wanting to go through the physically demanding ordeal of having to drain down so much weight to get to 160.
Canelo will have eight pounds to play with by fighting at 168. This should make it easier for him to make the weight, and thus will give him more strength in the fight. Canelo has been gassing out in the second half of his fights. That might be due to the weight that he’s been taking off to get down to the 160 lb weight limit for his fights. It was thought that when Canelo moved up from the 154 lb weight division to 160, he would have more energy and this stamina issues would be a thing of the past, but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case.
Canelo has been gassing out badly lately, costing him wins against GGG in the public’s eyes. Granted, the Nevada judges gave Canelo a draw and a decision win over Golovkin in their two fights, but those results ignored in the public’s eyes. They saw it differently and feel that Golovkin was the true winner in those two fights. As such, Canelo comes out of his 2-fights with Golovkin as a fighter badly in need of a true win, because he hasn’t won in a non-controversial fashion since his victory over the weight drained Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May 2017.
I will be representing the WBC as its current middleweight world champion as I continue demonstrating to the world that I am the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world,” Canelo said.
Canelo saying that he represents the WBC suggests that he plans on returning to the middleweight division to defend his WBC title. However, if Canelo moves back down to middleweight and then vacates his belt after the Fielding fight, he’s going to be looked at in a negative light by the boxing fans. They want to see Canelo move back down to middleweight and face GGG in a trilogy fight and defend the WBC belt against his mandatory challenger Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 Kos) rather than having Golovkin do the work for him, which the WBC is trying to make happen. Canelo should be able to defend his WBC title himself against his mandatory challengers rather than depend on Golovkin to do his hard work for him. The WBC needs to let Canelo sink of swim as their middleweight champion rather than enabling him by having Golovkin take care of his mandatory defenses against the likes of Charlo.