On Friday, it was announced that Canelo Alvarez would be moving up to 168 pounds on December 15 to face WBA “world” super middleweight titleholder Rocky Fielding, an announcement that caught pretty much everyone by surprise.
Promoter Eddie Hearn, it seems, was just as surprised when he got the offer.
Hearn said he “nearly dropped the phone” when Golden Boy asked if Fielding wanted to fight Canelo.
“I spoke to Rocky — and you have to get the best deal for your fighter — but this is the opportunity of a lifetime, this is a Cinderella story. You couldn’t make this up. This is a fight that will change his life forever. He will go in as the much bigger man, a big underdog in the fight. We know that Canelo is coming up from 154 pounds to 160. Rocky Fielding is going to be 180 pounds in the ring.”
Fielding (27-1, 15 KO) will indeed have a natural size advantage. Whether that’s enough to conquer the superior skill of Canelo (50-1-2, 34 KO) remains to be seen. Alvarez has fought once over 160 pounds, in a 164-pound catchweight fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in 2017.
Chavez, of course, infamously barely did more than show up to the event, and it’s highly unlikely Fielding will turn in as passionless a performance. This is, as Hearn says, the opportunity of a lifetime for Fielding. If he can pull this upset, it makes him a star.