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 be to launch himself again into world class.
At 35, loads of individuals may have missed Fielding. It was 5½ years in the past that Fielding received the British title at super-middleweight, with a break up choice over John Ryder that appears a fairly good outcome 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 explicit fears.
“The ambition now could be to see what I can do at light-heavyweight,” Fielding stated.
“I need to have a crack on the new weight. I’m nonetheless driving to the health club twice a day. I’ve been watching a few of Tyson Fury’s interviews and I can sympathize. I had a number of months sitting round and it was robust.
“So, I used to be conserving that routine of going within the health club, ticking over, and I used to be ready for the telephone to ring. In a approach, I used to be ready for any struggle, simply to present me that focus and get into that routine. Now I need to get in some massive fights.”
Fielding didn’t make weight at Friday’s weigh-in, that means he can’t change into a two-weight British champion on Saturday in Bournemouth, however this struggle was all the time extra concerning the man he was in with, quite than the belt on provide. 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. “That they had Callum (Smith) No 1 in Britain and he’s now established at light-heavy and combating for a world title subsequent, then Anthony Yarde, who’s combating 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 very good platform, again on Sky at a weight I’m new to and this can be a struggle that can put me again on observe. The blokes above me within the rankings are all going for world titles, so if I get a very good win, I’m proper again within the combine.”
The transfer up in weight was clearly wanted, judging by Fielding on the scales on Friday, nevertheless it appears exceptional that the boxer who’s properly over 6ft ever made super-middleweight.
“As I grow old, the load will get a bit harder 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 gap with Lerrone Richards and I received him out of there in three, so the facility 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 change 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 combating any marquee names, individuals might 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 properly. I even provided to step as much as cruiserweight to face him on the AJ-Usyk invoice, that’s how assured I used to be.
“I believe the break did me the world of excellent. Ever since I turned skilled I’ve all the time been chasing the subsequent 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 Occasions, 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 for the reason that Nineteen Eighties.