Days ahead of the biggest fight of his career, Rocky Fielding counts fellow Liverpool native Tony Bellew as a chief inspiration in boxing as he looks to upset Canelo Alvarez on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
“Me and Bellew, we started off in the same amateur gym together. ... (When I) turned pro, I was on a lot of his undercards and listened to everything he had to say. He is a big inspiration to me, from where we started together, and where we are at. ... We have kept in touch and he has given me some good messages - and he is coming out for the fight I believe. He is an inspiration for the city and for Liverpool fighters as well.”
Bellew, who retired after a Nov. 10 loss to undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, won a cruiserweight title in his career, and scored a big upset win over David Haye in March 2017, following up with a win in a rematch earlier this year.
Fielding (27-1, 15 KO) won the WBA “world” super middleweight title from Tyron Zeuge in July, and now has his shot at Canelo (50-1-2, 34 KO), who is the overwhelming favorite. Even trainer Jamie Moore has essentially noted that Rocky has to fight as close to perfectly as possible to get the win, and he’s almost surely right.
But Bellew is certainly someone to look to for Fielding. Not only do they share roots in the sport and in the world, but Tony overcame some odds at times and proved a lot of people wrong along the way in his career. Fielding beating Canelo would be something even bigger than anything Bellew ever did, though.