He was so damn on, so sharp, electric, rippling with pent up energy which he unleashed viciously on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden’s big room.
Pity the ribs of Rocky Fielding, as Canelo Alvarez over less than three rounds, at 2:38 in the third to be exact, almost rendered them to dust.
Knockdown in the first…in the second…two more in the third.
Canelo was a boss, though Rocky gained fans with his toughness. He could have folded up the tent and headed to Disney after the second knockdown, but he was still banging in round three, and the Mexican had to be wary of the Brit’s incoming.
Now, the masses were not universally swayed, as on social media there was no shortage of voices decrying this scrap as a severe mismatch. Indeed, at the post-fight presser promoter Oscar De La Hoya several times made mention of the fact that he never presented this scrap as the sternest test for Canelo at 168, as if to speak to those critics.
If there were 1,000 Brits here, they got out-lunged, as Fielding was drowned with boos as Michael Buffer called out his name. And let me make this clear–in the building, the atmosphere was upgraded from sluggish, after a sluggish undercard, to popping, when it became clear that Canelo was ON. His body shot accuracy was top tier and there were ewwws and ahhhhh, of the sympathetic variety, because the 20,112 announced (there were lots of empty seats it looked like, so probably maybe a good deal of the announced were comps and bought by the promotion) had to feel bad for Rocky, who was getting worked.
Canelo came in king of the world; the Gaudalejara native snagged a rich deal, 11 bouts and $360 million, on paper, with DAZN three months ago, so it figures he is feeling on top of the planet.
He impressed all with his demeanor this week—boxing has a lead dog that it can be proud of many thought. Others still hold that PED positive against him, but I think he proved in his last outing, before this one, that he fights A grade when under scrutiny and presumably ultra clean.
Fielding this week also impressed. “Rocky From Stocky: came off as humble and chill, and he told us that win or lose, he’d be taking the wife and kids, including his 12 weke old baby, to Disney in Florida.
Canelo is 29, and entered at 50-2-1, while the 31 year old Fielding, from Liverpool, England, a Matchroom fighter, was 27-1.
This was Canelo’s first foray at 168—he came up north because Fielding has a belt, the WBA’s 168 pound strap.
In the first, a left hook to the body put Rocky to a knee. Canelo looked ultra sharp and fast.
In the second, a second knockdown, again, left hook to the body. Rocky was back to the ropes and didn’t see it coming.
In the third, a right hand knocked him down. He got up, but with tepid interest. A left hook to the body, to a knee Rocky went..and the ref took mercy on his soul…and splintered ribs.
Oscar spoke more at the post-fight presser than did Canelo. The promoter said that the May 4 next fight is booked…but there are not thinking foe at all. Maybe a 160, maybe a 168, they will discuss that more after the holidays. First, it's time to celebrate the holidays, was the Canelo and Golden Boy message.
Here is the release Golden Boy sent out afterwards:
NEW YORK CITY (DEC. 15, 2018): Canelo Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs) entered a select list of Mexican fighters to become a three-division world champion as he defeated Rocky Fielding (27-2, 15 KOs) of Liverpool, England via third-round technical knockout in front of a sold-out crowd of 20,112 boxing fans at Madison Square Garden and live on DAZN. The fight was stopped at 2:38 of the third round.
“That was the plan in the gym, to hit the body and then move up, and that's the result. You see the result here,” said Canelo Alvarez. I feel very good and very strong at 168 pounds. I didn't have to dehydrate myself to make weight. We'll have to see with what I do next. I have to talk to my team, enjoy the holiday and then I'll talk to my team. But right now, without a doubt, what I want are the best fights. My goal is to make good fights for the people, for the public, and to make sure the name of Canelo Alvarez and of Mexico is held up high.”
“It was the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Rocky Fielding. “I'm thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this big fight. I think Canelo has the power to face anyone at 168 pounds.”
In the co-main event, Tevin Farmer (28-4-1, 6 KOs) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania successfully defended his IBF Super Featherweight World Title against Francisco Fonseca (22-2-1,16 KOs) of San Ramon, Costa Rica via 12-round unanimous decision. Farmer won with three scores of 117-111.
“It was a good performance,” said Tevin Farmer. “He was really, really tough. And after a few rounds, we saw that and we started working on things. It's all a road to improve. I say it was a C+, B- performance. Nowadays, I really have a lot of anger built up, good anger though, and I just want to hurt everybody when I'm in the ring. I don't have no sympathy.”
“I've been on the road this whole year…I wanted to just let everybody know that I'll be home in Philadelphia in March, I'm bringing everything back home baby. Who wants to fight me? That's the question.”
“Is that the fight that I want [against Gervonta Davis]? We've moved past him. Does he want to fight me? Like I said, we active, we getting paid. It's time for him to fight and stay active and then he can come see me.”
Sadam Ali (27-2, 14 KOs) of Brooklyn, New York defeated Mauricio Herrera (24-8, 7 KOs) of Riverside, Calif. via unanimous decision in a ten-round welterweight battle. Ali won with scores of 100-90, 99-91, 98-92.
“Honestly, I didn't look good in there,” said Sadam Ali. “I felt like I won sloppy. Herrera made me look terrible in there. He's a rugged fighter. And I fell in there that last moment of the fight the same way I fell when I fought Miguel Cotto. I felt like the cards were a lot closer than what the judges said they were.”
“It was an okay fight,” said Mauricio Herrera. “I had to shake a lot of the rust off, but it was a good pace. Overall, I thought I won the fight. I had him missing a lot in there, and I wasn't that tired.
Ryan Garcia (17-0, 14 KOs) of Victorville, Calif. stopped Braulio Rodriguez (19-4, 17 KOs) of La Romana, Dominican Republic via knockout in the fifth round of a lightweight bout originally slated for ten rounds. Garcia won with a time of 1:14 of the aforementioned round.
“I wasn't looking for the knockout because a lot of people say, if this kid can fight, I just see skills on Instagram,” said Ryan Garcia. “I wanted to show them that I can fight and I am for real.”
“That was the main thing coming in. We knew from the weigh-ins when [Rodriguez] pushed me that he would try to intimidate me, I think that's what he was trying to do, but I came in here and I was like, that's not going to happen.”
“Man, I can't thank them [Eddy and Chepo Reynoso] enough. They took me in like family. They took care of me good. I don't speak Spanish but they took care of me. I don't speak Spanish, but I got the Mexican blood in me. Viva Mexico!”
“When I was first coming up, I made the mistake thinking when I was knocking everyone out that I can conquer the world. I know it's a process and I'm going to trust everyone and trust my team. I'm not scared of nobody.”
Katie Taylor (12-0, 5 KOs) of Bray, Ireland defeated Eva Wahldtrom (22-1-1, 3 KOs) of Helsinki, Finland via unanimous decision, defending her IBF & WBA Lightweight World titles in a 10-round fight. Taylor won with three scores of 100-90.
“The goal is to be the undisputed lightweight champion of the world,” said Katie Taylor. “Obviously one of the biggest fighters out there is Amanda Serrano, and that's a huge, huge fight. Let's get it on.”
“That's probably the biggest compliment I can get to get, being compared to Sugar Ray Leonard [regarding his hand speed]. He's one of my favorite fighters. I've watched a lot of his videos, and my goal is to be as good as him.”
Lamont Roach Jr. (18-0-1, 7 KOs) of Washington, D.C successfully defended his WBO title against Alberto Mercado (15-2-1, 3 KOs) of Humacao, Puerto Rico via unanimous decision in a super featherweight battle. Roach Jr. won with scores of 99-91, 98-92, 97-93.
“I controlled most of the fight, and felt like I hurt him in almost every round,” said Lamont Roach. “I am proud of the fight that I had tonight – most fighters don't take the type of fights I say yes to. I'll do what it takes to make it to the top and that means fighting skilled fighters.”
“I feel good, but it's a bummer going 10 when I know can end it earlier and go less. Other than that, the fight was tough. I dominated in everyone and I hurt him in everyone. I know who the WBO and WBA champions are. [Masayuki] Ito and Alberto Machado. I'll fight any of them. But I'm in line to fight for the WBO Title, so I really hope that happens next.”
Yves Ulysse Jr. (17-1, 9 KOs) of Montreal, Canada won against Maximiliano Becerra (16-3-2, 8 KOs) of Santa Ana, Calif. via unanimous decision in a eight-round super lightweight bout. Ulysse Jr. won with scores of 79-71, 78-72, 78-72.
“It was truly a dream coming true to fight at the Madison Square Garden,” said Yves Ulysse Jr. “All the best fighters have fought here and the atmosphere is really unique. I felt like home in the ring. I'm happy about my performance: I've stick to the game plan, was patient to get the openings and hurt him.”
Bilal Akkawy (19-0-1, 15 KOs) of Sydney, Australia defeated Victor Fonseca (17-9-1, 14 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico via TKO in the seventh round in a super middleweight fight originally scheduled for eight rounds. Akkawy won with a time of 2:53 of the aforementioned round.
“There is a lot of room for improvement,” said Bilal Akkawy. “I wasn't myself in there, but I'll be working on that when I get back to the gym. It's an honor to have fought here [Madison Square Garden]. The plan now is to enjoy the holiday and then head to Mexico so I can get ready for my next fight.”
Canelo vs. Rocky was a 12-round fight for the WBA Super Middleweight World Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Matchroom Boxing. The event was sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle,” Fred Loya Insurance and “Miss Bala.” The event took take place on Saturday, December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The event was be streamed live on DAZN.