When will Tye "Big Sky" Fields Get His Canadian Title Shot?

By GM Ross: Last weekend in Edmonton Tye "Big Sky" Fields (49-4-0) knocked out Raphael Butler (35-10-0) of Rochester, Minnesota, in less than six rounds, showing why the Canadian Boxing Federation (CBF) and Canadian Professional Boxing Council (CPBC) both list him as the division's top contender. Fields-Butler was scheduled for ten, but "Big Sky" put his 6'8" frame to work, slamming away at Butler and forcing a stoppage. Back in February, Fields defeated former Canadian champion Ray Olubowale (8-5-1) of Toronto in a CBF eliminator, making him the mandatory challenger to Neven Pajkic's (16-0-0) crown. With Pajkic headed for merry old England to face Commonwealth king Tyson Fury (16-0-0) in November, it seems Fields' Canadian title aspirations are again on hold.

Fans can't begrudge Pajkic for fighting Fury; its a higher profile fight and, presumably, a bigger pay day. Nonetheless, Fields is justifiably frustrated. According to Darren Hauck of, Fields demanded his CBF title shot following his defeat of Butler and who can blame him? Not only did Fields win a CBF eliminator, he absolutely destroyed Raphael Butler; a fighter that gave Pajkic all he could handle in Toronto last year. Its been over a year since Pajkic defended his CBF crown, but lack of competition isn't to blame. The always busy Ken Frank (6-4-1) of Lethbridge, Alberta, won a CBF eliminator back in January, but has yet to receive his title shot. So, for seven months Canada has had two "mandatory" challengers to Pajkic's CBF title, but we've yet to see the champ defend his title in 2011.

While Fields waits patiently for Pajkic, other Canadian heavyweights are moving on. The CPBC has announced that former CBF champion Ray Olubowale will get another crack at national honours in April, 2012, against Eric Martel Bahoeli (7-0-0) of Quebec City, for the Council`s version of the heavyweight championship. Frankly, for boxing to continue it's comeback in Canada, we need regular heavyweight championship fights. If Pajkic's interests lie in the international boxing scene, all the best to him. I like Neven Pajkic; he's a gutsy, no-quit fighter, that Canadian fans can rely on for non-stop action. His fight with Butler was one of my favorite Canadian contests of 2011. But if the champion has no intention of defending his CBF title he should step aside and give two other heavyweights an opportunity. If Pajkic won't fight Fields, hopefully the winner of Olubowale-Bahoeli will. "Big Sky" deserves his title shot.

Article posted on 13.10.2011

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