Alvarez ready to 'make history'

NEW YORK • Saul "Canelo" Alvarez aims to cement his place in the pantheon of Mexican boxing greats today when he steps up a division to face British world super-middleweight champion Rocky Fielding at Madison Square Garden.

Alvarez, who won his rematch with Gennady Golovkin in September to claim ownership of the middleweight division, has wasted no time in climbing back into the ring.

This time, the 28-year-old is moving up a weight category to super-middleweight to face Fielding, who is making the first defence of the WBA (World Boxing Association) crown he won with a fifth-round stoppage of Germany's Tyron Zeuge in July.

Alvarez, who looks to have bulked up in recent videos and photos posted on social media, hopes a victory in the 76kg category will enhance his claims to be considered one of Mexican boxing's greatest fighters.

A win would see him join the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez as Mexican fighters who have won belts in at least three different classes.

Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 knockouts) sees today's fight as a chance to "make history".

"I know it's going to be a tough fight, but I like the challenges and we're prepared to make history," said the 28-year-old.

"Maybe many do not give Rocky Fielding the credit he deserves, but he's a world champion. I know the risk I have in front of me, and I have prepared myself very strong as always."

He is planning to revert to his preferred middleweight limit of 73kg after he has fought Fielding, with a potential third instalment of his rivalry with Golovkin looming on the horizon next year.

Fielding, meanwhile, is happy to be the underdog.

He said: "I wouldn't be taking this trip if I didn't believe it. I've trained so hard for 10 weeks.

"I know (Canelo) is an elite fighter and has been at the highest level, fighting the best fighters in the division below, but now he's at my weight."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

CANELO ALVAREZ V ROCKY FIELDING

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 15, 2018, with the headline 'Alvarez ready to 'make history''. Print Edition | Subscribe