SAN DIEGO, Calif., December 15, 2018 – Mexican boxing superstar and current WBC, WBA, and lineal middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez added a title in a third weight division Saturday, blasting the outgunned Rocky Fielding of Liverpool, England in three short rounds.
Referee Ricky Gonzalez watched four knockdowns before he finally waived off the fight at 2:38 of the third round. The 20,112 people present at Madison Square Garden didn’t mind the early end to the evening.
It couldn’t have been as painful to watch as it was to take the left hooks to the liver Alvarez delivered with relentless force, followed by right hooks, snapping upper cuts and head shots. When Fielding took a knee early in the first round, the result seemed even more inevitable than the 16-1 odds given Fielding.
Fielding took a knee again in the second round from another left hook, and looked to his corner as if to say, “Did you get the license plate number from the truck that just hit me?” He came out for one more round, one more knee, and when he rose to take more punishment from Alvarez, referee Gonzalez did the right thing by Fielding.
Alvarez (51-1-2, 35 KOs wins the minor WBA super middleweight title from Fielding (27-2, 15 KOs), but it does qualify him as a three division champion.
Alvarez said after the fight he was surprised Fielding came at him, but it worked to his advantage. I thought he would be a fighter to use his distance. Fortunately for me, he came right at me, and I took advantage of it.”Alvarez said the fight went precisely as planned/. “That was the plan in the gym, to hit the body and move up. And you saw the result here.”
Alvarez said he felt good and felt strong at super middleweight. “I didn’t have to dehydrate myself to make weight,” admitted Alvarez. But when asked whether he’d move back down to middleweight, the Mexican champion declined to answer, saying he would take a holiday break with his family and talk with his team. But he pledged to make “the best fights” at whatever weight, “to make sure the name of Canelo Alvarez and Mexico is held up high.”
Alvarez did not rule out a third fight with middleweight foe Gennady Golovkin, even though he said he felt he proved he was the better fighter on September 15. “But if people want another, we can make it.”
Tevin Farmer makes successful title defense
IBF super featherweight champion Tevin Farmer of Philadelphia (28-4-1, 6 KOs) declared Saturday’s unanimous decision victory over Francisco Fonseca of Costa Rica (22-2-1, 16 KOs) will be his final fight on the road for a while. Farmer is enjoying a second wind in his career after winning the world title in Australia. Scores were 117-111 on all three cards.
“It was a good performance, he was really really tough,” said Farmer of Fonseca. “After a few rounds, we started working on things. There is always room to improve.” Farmer gave himself a “B-minus, C-plus.”
Now Farmer wants some home cooking. “I’ve been on the road this whole year, after getting shot in the hand. I went to Australia to win the world title, to Boston October 20th to defend it, and now to New York. I want to let everyone know I’ll be home in Philadelphia in March.” Farmer has certainly earned it. But you can bet he’ll travel to San Diego on February 9 to watch his foe Gervonta Davis fight Abner Mares, hoping to make a date later in the year.
Former WBO junior middleweight champion and Brooklyn native Sadam “World Kid” Ali (27-2, 14 KOs) made the hometown fans happy with a solid unanimous decision over veteran Mexican-American favorite Mauricio Herrera (24-8, 7 KOs). Scores were 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92. While it wasn’t a spine tingling fight, Ali controlled the fight after a few nervous opening rounds. Herrera has been in a lot of wars, but nevertheless makes an opponent work for his win. Ali hopes to be back on track with a title fight opportunity in 2019.
Katie Taylor delivers impressive performance
Olympic and WBA/IBF lightweight champion Katie Taylor of Ireland (12-0, 5 KOs) and Eva Wahlstrom (22-1-1, 3 KOs) of Finland delivered an action-packed if one-sided fight. Taylor took every round on all three scorecard to win by decision, 100-90. Taylor is the first Irish boxer to defend a world title in New York. Wahlstrom showed why she is a former titleholder. While she never challenged Taylor, she gave the fight all her effort and never backed down.
After the fight, Taylor credited her opponent for her own good performance. “Eva’s a fantastic champion and a great great fighter. I knew it would be a great showcase for women’s boxing,” said Taylor. Taylor said her goal is to be the unified lightweight division champion. She needs the WBC and WBO belts. “The two other champions to become undisputed, then (Amanda) Serrano and (Cecilia) Braekhus would be fantastic for 2019“. Obviously Amanda Serrano is a huge, huge fight. Let’s get it on,” said Taylor.
Ryan Garcia returns to knockout form
Golden Boy Boxing’s most well-known prospect, Ryan Garcia of Victorville, California (17-0, 14 KOs), delivered exactly the kind of performance he needed against Braulio Rodriguez of the Dominican Republic (19-4, 17 KOs. Never mind that Rodriguez was thoroughly outgunned by Garcia, who is a decade younger. Garcia dropped Rodriguez in the first round, and it looked like the Garcia of old. But to his credit, Rodriguez got up. From that point, he pulled every mind game trick in the book to stay in the fight.
The younger version of Garcia would have been rattled, or tried to rush the knockout. Under the guidance of his new trainers Eddy and Chepo Reynoso at Canelo Alvarez’ camp, Garcia stayed patient, ignored the nonsense, and kept after Rodriguez looking for the right opportunity. He got it in the fifth round, delivering the knockout at 1:14 of the round with his best punch, a check left hook.
“I want to show people this kid can fight, and I’m for real,” said Garcia after the fight. He agreed that he needed to show his maturity in the ring, “We knew from the weigh-ini, from pushing me around, he was trying to intimidate me. I came in here and said, ‘that’s not going to happen.’” Garcia thanked the Reynosos, saying even though he doesn’t speak Spanish, they have a good understanding, adding. “I don’t speak Spanish, but I got the Mexican blood in me, that’s all that matters!”
WBO international super featherweight champion Lamont Roach Jr. of Washington DC (18-0-1, 7 KOs) remained undefeated with a solid decision victory against Alberto Mercado of Puerto Rico (15-2-1, 3 KOs). Roach Jr. has solid fundamental skills, but needs to step up the intensity to get to the next level where title fight opportunities wait for him.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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