It’s 4 years, virtually to the day, since Rocky Fielding stepped into the ring at Madison Sq. Backyard towards Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, in what proved to be a painfully one-sided struggle. Not a lot has been heard of the Liverpudlian since then however he’s again this weekend, up at light-heavyweight, as he seems to launch himself again into world class.
At 35, loads of individuals could have neglected Fielding. It was 5½ years in the past that Fielding gained the British title at super-middleweight, with a break up choice over John Ryder that appears a fairly good end result now. In 32 fights, he has solely misplaced to Canelo and Callum Smith. No shock then that British light-heavyweight champion Dan Azeez holds no specific fears.
“The ambition now could be to see what I can do at light-heavyweight,” Fielding stated.
“I wish to have a crack on the new weight. I’m nonetheless driving to the gymnasium twice a day. I’ve been watching a few of Tyson Fury’s interviews and I can sympathize. I had a couple of months sitting round and it was robust.
“So, I used to be conserving that routine of going within the gymnasium, ticking over, and I used to be ready for the telephone to ring. In a means, I used to be ready for any struggle, simply to offer me that focus and get into that routine. Now I wish to get in some large fights.”
Fielding didn’t make weight at Friday’s weigh-in, that means he can’t turn into a two-weight British champion on Saturday in Bournemouth, however this struggle was at all times extra in regards to the man he was in with, quite than the belt on supply. The unbeaten Azeez is barely two years youthful than Fielding however doesn’t have something like his expertise.
“When the telephone went providing me this, I took a have a look at the boxrec rankings,” Fielding stated. “They’d Callum (Smith) No 1 in Britain and he’s now established at light-heavy and preventing for a world title subsequent, then Anthony Yarde, who’s preventing for a world title. Then Joshua Buatsi was taking a look at an IBF eliminator. And after that it was me.
“So right here I’m, on a great platform, again on Sky at a weight I’m new to and it is a struggle that may put me again on observe. The blokes above me within the rankings are all going for world titles, so if I get a great win, I’m proper again within the combine.”
The transfer up in weight was clearly wanted, judging by Fielding on the scales on Friday, however it appears exceptional that the boxer who’s nicely over 6ft ever made super-middleweight.
“As I grow old, the load will get a bit tougher to shift, however I’m feeling,” he stated. “My final three opponents at light-heavyweight, I knocked out. The final man I fought [Timo Laine] went the space with Lerrone Richards and I acquired him out of there in three, so the ability is there.
“I’ve had good sparring and I’m heavy handed. When I’m touchdown in 16 oz gloves, I’m feeling it proper down my arm.”
He might have turn into one thing of a forgotten man, however Fielding feels being out of the limelight has suited him.
“Due to Covid after which I wasn’t preventing any marquee names, individuals may need forgotten me,” he stated. “I’ve not gone lacking. I used to be simply sparring Badou Jack in Dubai not that way back and so they by no means had me again after the fourth spar, which was an indication I used to be doing nicely. I even supplied to step as much as cruiserweight to face him on the AJ-Usyk invoice, that’s how assured I used to be.
“I feel the break did me the world of excellent. Ever since I turned skilled I’ve at all times been chasing the following struggle. However now I’m right here able to see what I can do at light-heavy.”
Ron Lewis is a senior author for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Instances, the place he labored from 2001-2019 – protecting 4 Olympic Video games and quite a few world title fights throughout the globe. He has written about boxing for all kinds of publications worldwide because the Eighties.