ERIC GOMEZ: I want to say hello to everyone and thank you for dialing in. This is the official international conference call for the Super Middleweight World Champion Rocky Fielding, who will be taking on the Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez on Dec. 15 from New York City at Madison Square Garden, and to be streamed on DAZN.
We’re less than 15 days away for this major event with our new partners DAZN. Fielding, obviously, world champion in his own right, has the opportunity of a lifetime, and to be able to take his career to the next level. This fight’s very, very dangerous for Canelo. The stakes are high, but the fight fans are going to get the fight they want in a great, great action-packed fight.
Again, this is going to be free. I want to repeat that. We talked about it a little bit last week. You can watch it free on DAZN. The first month is free for anybody that’s going to be a member or join DAZN. For those of you that want to see it live, you can go to the Madison Square Garden box office, or you can call Ticketmaster at 866-858-0008, and obviously online at ticketmaster.com, Golden Boytickets.com, and MSG.com.
Now, before I introduce Rocky and let him speak, I want to introduce a very important person on his team. This man was a fighter in his own right, but now he is recognized as one of the best trainers in the world. Please welcome trainer for Rocky Fielding, Jamie Moore. Jamie, can you say a few comments, please?
JAMIE MOORE: Obviously, we’ve only got a couple of weeks before the fight, so Rocky’s training has been ideal, been perfect, couldn’t have gone any smoother. I know I’ve said that many, many times before, but I truly believe he’s put the work in in the camp that can get him the victory.
ERIC GOMEZ: Great. Thank you, Jamie. Thank you very much. And now I’d like to introduce a fighter who has, like I said a little earlier, the opportunity of a lifetime on December 15th. Besides making his first defense of his title, he’ll be making his United States debut, and he’ll be fighting at the famed Madison Square Garden of New York City. Please welcome to the call WBA Super Middleweight World Champion Rocky Fielding. Rocky?
ROCKY FIELDING: Thanks for having me on. Thank you. Yes, as you said, it’s a massive fight for me at Madison Square Garden and a big challenge in Canelo Alvarez. Camp has gone great, it’s gone well. Put everything I can into it. I sacrificed everything. So it’s gone well. Everything’s gone well. It’s going to pay off, hopefully, on December 15th.
ERIC GOMEZ: Great. Thank you very much, Rocky. Thank you to Team Rocky. Now, operator, we can open it up to questions.
Q. Hi, Eric and Jamie and Rocky. Thanks for taking the time. My question is for Rocky and then Jamie. In the United States, we have a saying where we say that someone might have a, quote, unquote, puncher’s chance to get the win. When someone is an underdog but has power, we say they have a puncher’s chance to win. Rocky, do you have a similar saying in the United Kingdom, and would you agree that you have what would be called a puncher’s chance against Canelo, or would you call it something else?
ROCKY FIELDING: Yeah, that’s what it is, I think, in the boxing world. That’s what they all say. We say it here in the UK. Yeah, it’s a puncher’s chance, but I mean, it’s the talent of the shots and the punches and stuff like that. I’m a good fighter, a good boxer. So it’s a good one.
If they say I have a puncher’s chance, then I’ll let them, but then December 15th I’ll show them what chance I do have, and if it’s a puncher’s chance, it may be, but if it’s not, then it’s not. It’s just whatever happens on December 15th. I’m prepared well, so we’ll have to see what happens.
Q. Jamie, what do you say? Do you think Rocky has a puncher’s chance or more than that?
JAMIE MOORE: He absolutely has more than a puncher’s chance. I think the term a puncher’s chance means someone who can hit but he’s relying on a bit of luck to land that shot whereas Rocky is much more of a rounded fighter than to just go in there and rely on hope to land a lucky shot. He’s a very intelligent fighter, and he’s underappreciated, I feel. I think that a lot of fighters, especially the ones who he spars, say you don’t realize how good he is or how unorthodox he is. We’ll certainly find that out on the night of the fight.
So as much as Alvarez, he’s going to find out about that. We’re going to ask him questions. There’s a lot of unanswered questions regarding him moving up to super middleweight. Height and reach advantage what Rocky’s got is huge. How is he going to cope with those problems, plus the fact that the size difference on the night? I know there’s a ten-pound weight limit for the next morning, but the actual difference from that point in time until they actually get in the ring on the night is going to be massive. You’ll see, when they come face to face in the middle of the ring, Rocky’s going to be huge, an absolutely huge specimen compared to Canelo.
So we know how good a fighter he is, but there’s a lot of questions what he needs to answer, and we’re going to make him answer.
Q. Thanks, everybody, for taking time to talk to us. The first question is for Jamie, and if Rocky wants to give his thoughts as well. Obviously, Canelo Alvarez is a top pound-for-pound superstar. He’s coming off the win against Golovkin. The question is how do you get sparring partners for Rocky to prepare him for the type of skill set that Canelo Alvarez has?
JAMIE MOORE: It’s obviously a very difficult task. You know, when you’re talking about the elite level fighters at the top of the pound for pound list, how do you sort of get sparring to match that? You really can’t. You have to — in my opinion, you have to take out the best attributes that that fighter has, someone with a real sharp jab like Canelo. You’d want to get a sparring partner who has a real good jab. Then you’ve got to try to get all the different best parts of the attributes as well and cover those with different sparring partners, but you’re never necessarily going to get all those covered with one sparring partner. You actually have a different range of it.
Me personally, I like to do a lot of tactical work and drills and different sort of the combinations are the punch selection, which I feel work in different fights. I’ll pick that up early on in camp, and we’ll drill it and drill it and drill it because I like the fighter to understand what I want him to do on the night well in advance, and by the time the fight comes around, we’ve drilled it that much that it becomes second nature. So as soon as he’s in a situation, he responds to it without even thinking about it.
And we nailed that down early on. I’ve been a big fan of Canelo for many years, so it didn’t take me that long to sort of pick up on his rhythm and his timing, his shot selection, the stuff he does well. The opportunities where I feel Rocky will get to him, we’ve picked out quite quick, and we’ve drilled it and drilled it, and Rocky is just pulling it off exactly how I would want him to do it at that point in camp.
Q. Rocky, obviously, you’ve been fighting in super middleweight for far longer than Canelo Alvarez. Canelo has never really had like a proper fight at 168 pounds. How much do you think it’s going to be an advantage for you already being accustomed to fighting bigger guys than what Canelo Alvarez has been used to throughout his career?
ROCKY FIELDING: Yeah, that’s the ingredient to the fight. I’m a big super middleweight, and he’s stepping up. That’s what makes it interesting to see how he is going to adapt to it and how he’s going to be. I’m at a weight to make the weight comfortable, and I’m okay at it. I don’t know how it’s going to be for him, but I’m at the best weight for myself.
It adds up. He’s a top fighter all around, and he brings that with him as well as moving up in the weight. He carries all that around. So it’s going to be interesting to see him from his last fight, to see how does in the pound step up (inaudible) and see if he accumulated muscle mass in this short of time. It will be interesting to see in the next week or so. It will be interesting compared to myself and how I make the weight and how I prepare. I make the weight, and then I fight. That’s how I’m prepared.
Q. Eric, obviously, The Zone went with Golden Boy soon after it unveiled in the U.S. To some, it may come with some risk and uncertainty. So when the opportunity to go on The Zone and go full in on this project, what about that potential partnership made you and Golden Boy confident that this could work? Was it The Zone’s long tradition? Was it getting ahead on the streaming service, the existing relationship they had with Matchroom Boxing, or was it any other factors?
ERIC GOMEZ: No, obviously, we believe in the product. We have tons and tons of data that we’ve compiled the last three years or so, and the landscape for television, especially for sports in television, is changing. It really is changing. The viewership on pay-per-views have been going down and down and down. When you have two massive fights back to back, Canelo versus Golovkin 1 and 2, and the online streaming services are outdoing the linear pay-per-view, it’s very compelling, it’s eye opening.
So I feel that the vision that Skipper has, John Skipper has for The Zone and some of the plans they have that I can’t really discuss at this time, we believe in them, and it’s going to be the future.
Q. Rocky, good afternoon. Less than two weeks away from the fight. How much pressure or how big does this feel to you, your first fight in the United States, against Canelo Alvarez in Madison Square Garden? How much of that enters your mind, and have you taken stock yet that this is the biggest moment of your career?
ROCKY FIELDING: Yeah, well, I’m enjoying it. This is what I’m in boxing for. This is what I’ve been doing in boxing since I was 9, for these nights. Where I’ve come from and my background and where I started professional in the sport, to fight at Madison Square Garden against the biggest name in boxing is unbelievable.
I’m not letting it get to me. I’m enjoying this, but I’m fully focused on it these past ten weeks, and I see it’s getting closer now. You know, I’m enjoying it. I’m going to go play soon. This is what we’re in boxing for, for these nights. So, yeah, it’s a great thing.
Q. A lot of people are looking at this fight for Canelo as a stepping stone fight for possibly a trilogy fight with Golovkin or a rematch with Mayweather. How does that make you feel? Does that add any more fuel to your fire heading into December 15th?
ROCKY FIELDING: That’s on them, and where I’m at, you can’t look past your next opponent. It’s up to them, and I’m fully focused on Canelo. That’s all that matters to me. It hasn’t bothered me whether he just signed a big deal or anything. I’m just fully focused on Canelo, and whatever else goes on with him or the rest of the fighters or fights, it doesn’t bother me. I’ve just got to be prepared and get ready for the 15th. That’s what I’m doing.
Q. Hi, I’ve got a question for Rocky. Everyone in the UK certainly is probably focused on what Tyson Fury did in America last weekend.
ROCKY FIELDING: Yeah.
Q. Do you feel like a little bit, in the public’s perception, you’re following that lead and you’re going to put up a really good show so the British can be proud of what we can do over in America?
ROCKY FIELDING: Yeah, definitely. That was a big, big fight for Tyson Fury. I was over the moon. We have like a bit of a crazy friendship. We both was in the ABA Finals together. We both (inaudible). We’ve both had the benefit of fighting for a world title. So it’s a great story. But Fury has been massive, massive the past couple days in the UK, and everyone is behind him, even the world for inspiration.
I’ve got good support coming over, and hopefully I’ll give it everything on the night, and everyone around the world supports me on it. I’m appreciative of it all.
Q. One follow-up on that, Rocky. Would this be like the biggest thing for you so far in your career? How do you think you would you feel if you actually beat Canelo?
ROCKY FIELDING: Well, I’m the superstar, aren’t I? And as I said to be honest, every fighter you meet — I started my pro debut in Lancashire with a couple hundred people. And that’s where I started for the last eight to nine years of my professional career. And I’ve had a lot of setbacks outside the ring and stuff like that. So to be coming to Madison Square Garden to fight the biggest name in boxing, I’m going prepared and going to win and that’s all I can do. As I said, I wake up the next day and I’m the face of boxing, and it’s a great feeling.
Q. Rocky, what was your thoughts when the Canelo fight first came across your desk?
ROCKY FIELDING: Yeah, it was a big surprise. And I don’t think anyone expected in terms (indiscernible). I just accepted this. When Jamie called me up to say Canelo wants to fight you, and do you want this tab open? I said, yeah, let’s do it. And it’s a massive challenge and let’s do it and that was it. So the answer was yeah. And that’s it really, yeah. Offered the challenge, and it is.
Q. You went over to Germany to defeat Tyron Zeuge of the WBA. Is there anything you can draw from that fight to kind of prepare you for coming over to America to fight Canelo?
ROCKY FIELDING: Obviously traveling away from home and getting the win like I did is a big achievement, especially in January. No one gave me a chance and not many fighters get chances and scorecards are always dodgey. But I just feel like the whole thing, obviously it’s a lot, lot bigger. Everyone knows the arena, the media, everything’s a lot bigger. So apart from that, it’s a ring and that’s it; wherever the ring is, you fight. Fighters fight. And that’s it.
But, yeah, I take things from it as far as being far away from home and getting the win, like I said, it’s a lot bigger as a whole — media and obviously the (indiscernible)– I’ll be there in the (indiscernible). But I’m going to enjoy them. This is a night, that’s what boxing’s for. I’m going to enjoy it, though.
Q. Earlier this year, Canelo had a heat cup [phonetic], a VADA testing. He popped clean for Clenbuterol. Now is VADA testing a part of this fight? And if it’s not, do you guys have any concern about a re– not a reoccurrence, but just is there any concern about the previous test?
ROCKY FIELDING: No. I mean I haven’t locked into it. I’m getting tested and stuff. I’m standing up with VADA. But that’s it; I’m just concerned about myself and I’m not really locking into (indiscernible) whatever the past has happened. Just focused on myself and that’s it whatever has happened in the past has happened and that’s it really.
Q. In order for Rocky Fielding to beat Canelo, he must do what?
ROCKY FIELDING: What Tyson said, just punch him in the face hard until he goes down. I mean, I’ve worked on techniques with Jamie for the past 11 weeks. As I say, I’ve just gotta do what I’ve gotta do. I believe what we worked on and what I can do can cause a lot of damage and a lot of — a lot more than what people are thinking. People are thinking I’m going there and actually (indiscernible). I’ve prepared well and I’m prepared to give it everything I’ve got. I believe boxing, fight — the best fight the best, and the best comes out of me. And I have enough fear factor and everything about it, and (indiscernible). I’ll perform well and I’ll give it everything I’ve got. And if I have to (indiscernible) boxing, I boxing, and everything that we worked on with Jamie, it will come off on the December 15th and that’s all I can do.
Q. Rocky, when the fight was originally presented to you, was there a moment where you said to yourself this is something I need to think about, take my time to make a decision, or did you know right away that you were going to accept the fight, and this is exactly what you were looking for?
ROCKY FIELDING: Yeah, Jamie is there on the phone. He can tell you. Jaime called me up and told me about the fight and said it was done and the first answer was yes. Why wait? So answer was yes straightaway. And that was it.
JAMIE MOORE: The exact conversation went: Canelo Álvarez wants to fight you. He went: Serious? And I went: Yeah. And he went: Let’s do it. He literally took it straightaway.
ROCKY FIELDING: There was no thinking, like, I know who he is and all and everything. I think as a fighter — and to be honest, you can ask at the end that every fight that he has ever presented to me I’ve said yes to straightaway. A fight whether it’s a fight I didn’t needed to fight (indiscernible). I just said, yeah, because that’s the fighter in me. That’s why I don’t like to say no to fights. But this is obviously a guy who is the face of boxing, pound for pound, and everything. So why not — yeah, straightaway. Massive challenge. I’ll go in there and I’ll fight the best pound for pound and go in there and do what I’ve got to do to and get the win. And I’m the next superstar.
Where I’m at in my career now, it was yes (indiscernible), go and win a title. And you want to be the best, you have to fight the best. And this is where I’m at.
Q. How have things changed, whether the fans or the media attention, or just the attention that you’re getting from the fans and the media before fighting the fight and after, do you feel like you’re going to have a big support in MSG on fight night?
ROCKY FIELDING: Yeah. Obviously the media stuff is obviously stepped up a lot bigger and it’s been nonstop. But we have had fans, where we’ve cut it off with the camp, to get the training done and stuff. So we’ve got to do that well.
And, yeah, getting stopped in the streets where I’m from, people — a lot more than what I usually would about the fights. I’m getting great support. Everyone’s supporting me.
And I’ve got a couple of ones coming over there, I’d say 800 to a thousand coming over, and there will be more than 15 or 20,000 that we get.
So everything’s been, in that sense, has been big. But I’m being me, been going to the gym, doing my way and I’ve been coming home and getting my rest and doing that and looking after the kids.
And the rest will come the way it always has. And apart from what you’ve seen in the media, it’s got a bit bigger and it’s boxing. Obviously it comes with who I’m fighting.
So once I put the phone down from Jamie, when I accepted, I knew — I prepared myself for what was coming, the storm that I knew was going to come, I knew all the media was going to come. I had it in my mind and everything that in my mind is how it’s going now. So I’ve took it all well. And I’ve been doing it. And this is why boxing being the elite on top is about. And so here I am.
Q. Eric, can you talk a little bit about the planning and the thinking of bringing Canelo to Madison Square Garden and kind of what was the driving force to that? A lot of his big fights were in Las Vegas. And depending on the success and magnitude of the event in two weeks, do you think we’ll be seeing Canelo more often on the East Coast?
ERIC GOMEZ: First of all, thank you for being on the call. You know, he’s always wanted to fight in New York. He’s always wanted to fight in New York. It seems like the last three years he’s been — he’s been talking to Oscar and myself about fighting in New York and obviously at the Garden. He’s a big fan of Muhammad Ali and idolizes Muhammad Ali.
And to fight at the mecca of boxing where all the greats have fought — Oscar fought there as well. It’s something that he always wanted to do. So we’re very excited, extremely excited that we were able to squeeze in one more fight in December after having such a tough fight in September with Golovkin, the rematch.
So for him, it’s going to be a great experience; and, yes, of course, we’re open coming to do more fights in New York. No problem. Everything seems to be going well, smooth. Ticket sales are great. We’re expecting a sell-out. And if everything goes as planned, why not?
Q. Jamie, is there any strategy on your part to perhaps take the fight into deep waters; do you feel that you have a better shot the longer the fight goes?
JAMIE MOORE: I don’t necessarily think we have to do that, no. I think — will it go in our favor? I think maybe. I think the size advantage and the longer the fight goes, especially if it’s a physical fight, that definitely could play in our hands.
What Rocky — I don’t think Rocky’s record really tells the tale of how hard he punches. And although Canelo has shown that he’s got a great chin against Golovkin, Golovkin’s power is very much sort of a raw power; whereas, Rocky, a lot of his is based off timing, timing of his shots. And the reason his record doesn’t really suggest how hard he hits, a lot of the guys he boxed early on, you saw go in there to survive; you can’t get the shots off in time. So they’re probably able to fiddle their way through against somebody with the shot power that Rocky has.
So to answer your question, I think Rocky is capable of finishing the fight at any time. He really just kind of has that power. But the longer the fight goes, you know, tactically we’ve set a game plan out there that, by sort of the middle rounds, Rocky should have a real fold in the fight and then if it plays out the way I think it’s going to play, it will be our fight to lose.
Q. Rocky, we’ve seen Golovkin hit Canelo pretty clean with some big shots that probably would have dropped other fighters. And Canelo was able to withstand it and come back and throw his own shots. Does that change anything for you in terms of the preparation for the fight; whereas, maybe you’re looking at different techniques and strategies to not be able to necessarily have to stop Canelo, but be able to outbox him or do something with timing?
ROCKY FIELDING: Yes, definitely. As you’re saying, Golovkin took a wailing. And I think it’s all about the timing and how you get the shots is — it’s almost the shots that you don’t see with the (indiscernible). I’ve just been working on what I’m preparing and what we feel will do the job. And as I say we say, my record (indiscernible) and stoppages in there. So that was some of that. We’ll see. [Audio cutting out] (indiscernible) what you get off from the meeting and the timing and everything and I believe [Audio cutting out] (indiscernible).
JAMIE MOORE: You can definitely take a shot better when you see it coming (indiscernible) or ride it. I think the big right hands that he took by Golovkin, obviously powerful shots. He did see him coming and he sort of rolled it and took the thing out of the shot. So which is obviously a great attribute (indiscernible) [Audio cutting out] the style. The shots you don’t see come in. And they’re the ones that do the real damage. So it is a difference between the shots Golovkin was hitting him with and the shots I anticipate Rocky will hit him with.