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‘Canelo’ Alvarez v Rocky Fielding: Oscar de la Hoya concern for Mexican

Fielding (right) has never fought at lower than 168lb while Alvarez is stepping up to the super-middleweight mark
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez v Rocky Fielding
Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York Date: Saturday, 15 December Coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Promoter Oscar de la Hoya is “a little worried” for Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez as the Mexican prepares to take on Briton Rocky Fielding in New York on Saturday.

Alvarez, 28, will move up to super-middleweight, where Fielding holds a minor version of the WBA world title.

The Mexican has won world titles at light-middleweight and still holds two of the four belts at middleweight.

“The fact he is moving up in weight is dangerous,” said De la Hoya. “Fielding is naturally big.”

He told BBC Sport: “If a fighter feels comfortable that he will win easily, against a guy who no-one knows, it can be very dangerous.

“Canelo has to be sharp, focused and in shape, because Rocky is coming in with everything and has nothing to lose.

“I am a little worried about this fight, but I think it will be great.”

£278m deal brings Alvarez pressure

Alvarez starts at 1-20 with some bookmakers despite being the challenger at Madison Square Garden as he moves up 8lb for a bout that will be covered in a live text by BBC Sport in the early hours of Sunday morning in the UK.

It is a first contest for Alvarez since he beat Gennady Golovkin at middleweight in September and his first since signing a £278m five-year fight deal.

De la Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions partner Bernard Hopkins claim the contract makes Alvarez the highest paid athlete in any sport, with former boxer Floyd Mayweather now retired.

“To say ‘the biggest contract in boxing’ is kind of undermining how significant this deal is. We are talking about the NBA, NFL, golf – it’s the biggest deal,” former world champion Hopkins told BBC Sport.

De la Hoya added: “Canelo has a lot on his plate – he has to deliver and that is exactly what we are going to do.

“He is still young at 28 and has a lot of great fights to come. In the end, he may be one of the top three in the history of Mexican boxing – so Canelo is on his way.”

Fielding confident as Alvarez eyes elite list

Bernard Hopkins (left) and De la Hoya believe Alvarez is now the best paid athlete in sport

Should Alvarez win in his first outing at 168lb, he would claim the WBA ‘regular’ world title. Liverpool’s Callum Smith holds the more coveted ‘super’ title.

Despite the belt’s junior status, Alvarez says he is “days away from history” in joining a small list of Mexicans to win world titles in three weight divisions.

“I never like to get over confident if I’m favourite or not,” Alvarez told BBC Sport. “It’s that important in the sport of boxing because one punch can change everything.

“To enter the select group of Mexicans to be a three-weight world champion, it’s motivating me.”

Only Mayweather has beaten Alvarez in a 54-fight career which started when he was 15.

His stellar background has led to 31-year-old Fielding being written off in many quarters, despite his height and reach advantage.

“I have prepared mentally and can’t be star struck and pinch myself at who I am fighting – that won’t work,” Fielding told BBC Sport. “I know all I’m up against.

“It’s at my weight I’m comfortable at; he’s stepping up. I’ll be naturally stronger at the weight. That gives me confidence.”

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