Rocky Fielding Vs. Callum Smith is only one week away.
On November 7th, the youngest of a successful fighting family, Callum Smith, looks to win the British Super Middleweight title – one which has remained vacant since his eldest brother, Paul, gave it up in April. He does so against one of the freshest faces in the world pool – Rocky Fielding – who, at 21-0, and with many impressive victories coming as of late – must anticipate a breakthrough. One like that of James DeGale’s triumph over Andre Dirrell in Boston, or Carl Froch’s first world title fight against Jean Pascal could make him a nation’s icon, subject of international boxing lore.
Fielding looks for something which might cement him with the elite at his weight class. At 28-years-old, he has time, but not in excess as some boxers might. He doesn’t want to wait to move ahead of the pack, to become more than a domestic contender.
Someone once in this predicament is George Groves, who despite receiving three world title shots, has constantly struggled to capitalize when given the chance to establish himself internationally. Froch stopped him twice, and WBC champ Badou Jack bested him on points on the Mayweather-Berto undercard. The way the world views him, he hasn’t been able to pull ahead. Fielding now wants his chance to do what a fighter like Groves has spent years trying to accomplish.
This bout is for the British title and not quite of the magnitude of Froch-Groves, or Jack-Groves. It shares much more with Groves’ fight against DeGale, where the winner’s next step up in class was a world title bout, despite a meager twenty-two bouts between the boxers. It was a bout that signified, for the winner, that he was the best at this level and that it was time for him to move on to the next.
Fielding and Smith have thirty-eight bouts in total; far more experience in the professional ranks than Groves or DeGale had. Fielding has smashed a couple of tough contenders in Brian Vera and Noe Alcoba, even though they were arguably both on the other side of the steep climb to contention, and has yet to struggle against some decent products of Britain’s boxing clubs. Smith has unanimous decision wins over Nikola Sjekloca and Christopher Rebrasse, two top-ranked European contenders. He shut out tough American Vladine Biosse a few fights back, and knocked Mexican Abraham Gonzalez out in his first appearance in America. No more time on the proving grounds, and no more dry runs. Both are ready to box in the biggest arenas, in headliners, against the best boxers.
First, they’ll have to meet and determine which of them is worthy of the shot.
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