Canelo Alvarez vs. Rocky Fielding Pick to Win

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Rocky Fielding Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, December 15, 2018
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Weight Class: Super Middleweight: 168 Pounds
Titles: WBA 168-Pound Title
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper,

Canelo Alvarez, 50-1-2 (34 KOs), Guadalajara, Mexico
Rocky Fielding, 27-1 (15 KOs), Liverpool, England

Alvarez-Fielding Betting Odds: Saul Alvarez (-1375), Rocky Fielding (+900)

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez takes on Rocky Fielding on December 15, as Alvarez tries to add another world title to his collection, with this being for Fielding’s WBA 168-pound title. This fight is crow-barred in a bit, as no one expected Canelo to resurface again this year, especially after beating GGG in September in what was a demanding fight. Alvarez took some punishment and was even cut. But here he is, fighting for the first time at 168 pounds against a once-beaten Englishman in Fielding, a fighter who has a considerable size advantage. That might be his only advantage, other than the fact that this is his biggest moment and more of a time-filler for Alvarez. Even so, it’s not easy to envision a path to the winner’s circle for the Liverpool fighter.

A lot of people feel rankled that Canelo got the decision against GGG. But even if it’s true that he capitalizes somewhat unfairly from being the biggest cash-cow in the sport, it’s not clear how much that matters for the purposes of this fight. We can sit here and split hairs over whether Canelo deserved to win either of the GGG fights, but Fielding is nowhere near that universe, so what does it really matter?

When a man wins 27 of 28 fights and is a dedicated professional as Fielding is, one can’t be totally dismissive. And at 6’1″ with a 5-inch reach advantage, he has a lot of length on his opponent, who only recently started fighting at 160 pounds. Fielding is on a 6-fight win streak and has built up some nice steam since suffering the only loss of his career—a first-round KO loss to current top super middleweight Callum Smith. And as we’ve seen before, first-round knockouts can be misleading, even as they are the most-emphatic type of win you can score in the sport.

Normally, getting into the topic of the diluted state of world titles in the sport serves no purpose for helping win a boxing wager. But we know what we have with Canelo. Fielding is more out-of-context, having plied his trade in Europe, with no common threads that link to Alvarez. On the surface, he is the “WBA Super Middleweight Champion,” which sounds pretty good. Then you realize the WBA has three super middleweight champions for God knows what reason, one of them being Smith, the same fighter who vanquished Fielding in less than a round. So let’s peel back all the layers and acknowledge Fielding for what he is, which is not really a champion, but rather a top-12 fighter in his division.

Fielding isn’t a slouch, though. He has some diversity to his attack, able to strike with straight and hooking blows. He throws punches well in combination, working well to the head and body. He strikes with good technique, getting his body into the shots. Fielding doesn’t appear to have the firepower to truly trouble Canelo, but being a bigger man and a respectable hitter, he can’t be overlooked, either. The Liverpool-native moves nicely around the ring, with good legs that allow his to switch positions well.

His drawbacks, however, are pretty numerous. After all, he’s facing a fighter in Canelo who has seen a bit of everything, even at just 28 years of age. Fielding is a bit uncoordinated, with long limbs that remind one of a newborn horse trying to find its legs. That’s an exaggeration, but he’s nowhere near the athlete that Canelo is. It takes some time to organize all the levers and pulleys. And while he’s tall and could use that to his advantage, he has a bit of a flimsy physique, with narrow shoulders and a long neck. It makes it so his head is a bit up in the air—all too available for a sharpshooter like Canelo. When you watch Alvarez, his head is tucked in, protected by muscular arms and shoulders, along with a stout shock-absorber neck. Then you see Fielding, with his head swinging in the breeze.

I’m not sure I like what is behind Canelo taking this fight, seemingly as a way to put more distance between him and the last GGG fight. It seems completely arbitrary in many ways. What connection was there with Fielding, a random super middleweight from across the pond? And after the adrenaline dump of the GGG rematch, could he be at a depleted state? After all, this is the Super Bowl for Fielding and more of a preseason game for Canelo. That disparity can sometimes resonate in surprising ways.

One doesn’t want to condemn Fielding on the basis on a lone defeat. Again, those KO by 1’s can be misleading and a lot of betting men have been taken down the wrong path by putting too much credence in those types of results. But more often than not in this sport, talent is what speaks loudest and Canelo is the more-talented fighter in this matchup and not by a small margin. For Fielding, even if he doesn’t believe it, he is reduced to banking on a size advantage and a perceived lack of urgency on the part of his opponent. That’s where the daylight for a win exists for him. And as a betting man, you don’t want that—even with a jumbo-sized underdog.

In this sport, the term “champion” is thrown around a lot more-easily than it once was. Both of these fighters are champions, but there’s a big difference. Whether you think he’s been fortunate in the eyes of judges, Canelo is in fact elite. Beneath that you have excellent fighters—champions who have done some big things while never quite being able to beat the best. And under that are guys like Fielding. And that gulf in talent is not negotiable—not by weight, not by height, and not because Canelo could be looking ahead. This is the kind of gulf that can’t be bridged by things like that.

We are handcuffed a bit with Canelo being such a big favorite at -1375. But that could actually represent some decent value. If I were somehow to see the Fielding bolt-from-beyond actually materializing, I’d like to be getting better than the +900 quote that Fielding is getting. I personally see Canelo being very offensive and getting Fielding out of there in the first half of the fight. And as the fight draws close and the total and props come out. I will be looking for a position on Canelo, to win, by KO, and the “under.”

Loot’s Pick to Win the Fight: I’m betting on Canelo Alvarez to win by knockout, with a position on the “under.” Did you know… that you could be wagering on boxing matches at discounted odds? There’s a better than good chance that you’re laying inflated odds with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to BetAnySports Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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