|Alvarez to win in Rounds 5-8||15/8||Coral|
|Alvarez to win in Round 5||8/1||Ladbrokes|
If only you could bet on the type of punch that ends a fight, I’d be lumping a sizeable sum on Rocky Fielding being finished off by a Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez body shot.
Such instances can be subjective and, hence, no such betting market is ever available, but that is not to say that value cannot be found in back 1/16 favourite Canelo this weekend.
Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) travels from his native Liverpool to New York to take on boxing’s most lucrative pin-up, Mexican Alvarez, putting the WBA super-middleweight title he won against Tyron Zeuge on the line for the first time.
The best bookmakers make the British fighter an 8/1 underdog against Alvarez, who is moving up to 168 pounds as he attempts to win a title in a third weight division.
To the underdog’s credit, Fielding does throw shots from unexpected angles, thanks to his rangy style, but Canelo is likely too clever to be bamboozled by awkward combinations.
The only slight edge the orthodox Fielding has over Canelo in terms of physique is the obvious height difference.
‘Rocky from Stocky’ – as he is known locally in Liverpool having been brought up in Stockbridge Village – will tower over Canelo at 6ft 1in compared to the Mexican’s height of 5ft 8in.
There’s no doubt Rocky is a big dude, but height advantage isn’t everything in boxing. Just ask Jamie McDonnell, the last British fighter to go abroad to take on his division’s best fighter.
McDonnell travelled to Japan earlier this year to take on home favourite and bantamweight king Naoya Inoue, and much was made of the 4.5-inch height differentiation.
The Japanese brawler made a mockery of the hopeful British press by sparking their boy out inside the opening round.
The only defeat on Fielding’s record is a TKO loss to fellow Liverpudlian Callum Smith – brother of former Canelo opponent Liam Smith – in 2015, when he was downed three times in the opening round before the referee waved the bout off.
The first of those three knockdowns came via a body shot and opened up the door for Smith to finish the job via head shots. Canelo is one of the best body punchers in the sport, it’s just a question of how many Rocky can absorb. It’s 19/1 with Paddy Power for Canelo to win in round one.
Canelo might not be quite so keen to end the fight that early as he’ll want to give the New York crowd a decent exhibition of his superior skills in what will be his first fight in the Big Apple.
A points win is priced up at 7/2 with Bet365, but that won’t give Canelo’s record much credibility, so expect him to up his game when he feels the crowd have seen enough, and force the stoppage (1/4) by overwhelming Fielding with body shots.
I’d expect that to come around the middle rounds, and Coral offer the best price at 15/8 for Alvarez to beat Fielding in rounds 5-8.
The individual round betting is notoriously hard to predict, but if you’re in it for bigger value, rounds five (8/1), six (9/1), seven (9/1) and eight (10/1) are all reasonably well priced by Ladbrokes.