Anthony Joshua offers words of encouragement to Rocky Fielding

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Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua made time to chat with Liverpool’s Rocky Fielding backstage at Madison Square Garden last night following the latter’s disappointing knockout loss to Mexico’s Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.

Fielding was totally outclassed by a rampant Alvarez and was knocked down four times en route to a third-round TKO.

Canelo went to work on his opponent’s body from the off and the Merseysider tasted the canvas in rounds one and two before finally succumbing to the inevitable in the third.

Fielding allowed Canelo inside where the 6-inch height advantage enjoyed by the Brit was nullified and the impressive body shots thrown by the Mexican were most effective.

The win for Alvarez relieved Fielding of his secondary WBA super-middleweight title and renders the red-headed star a three weight world champion, although the veracity of such a statement is dubious to some given that the full super-middleweight belt resides with Callum Smith.

Joshua greeted fans backstage before bumping into his fellow British fighter and offering a few words of encouragement.

Regarding the electric atmosphere at the venue Joshua told a content-seeming Fielding:

“When I was there today (Madison Square Garden) listening to all the people chanting I thought ‘this is crazy’.

“Good experience, head held high?” asked Joshua.

Fielding seemed rather overwhelmed by the occasion by this point, but did muster a reply, telling Joshua:

“With my background and where I have come from, to get here and in with Canelo is an achievement”.

Fielding’s career could have ground to a halt after he lost to the current WBA ‘Super’ title holder Callum Smith in November 2015.

Smith won via a first-round stoppage in that fight to pick up the British Super-Middleweight title, and the swift nature of the defeat at his fellow Liverpudlian’s gloves could have sounded the death knell on Fielding’s world title ambitions.

Canelo Alvarez v Rocky Fielding

But Fielding won his next six fights to bring himself back from the brink and bested Tyron Zeuge in July to pick up his first world-level belt.

Defeat to Canelo is unlikely to have the same impact on Fielding’s future ambitions as the loss to Smith given the Mexican’s lofty status in the sport.

The exposure Fielding gained by taking on Canelo will make others sit up and notice, and a dream re-match with his former conqueror Callum Smith will be in the middle of Fielding’s crosshairs.

Callum Smith
Anthony Joshua
Saul Alvarez

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