Callum Smith’s boxing brain to prevail over Rocky Fielding’s brawn in British title bout
Callum Smith's time with Team GB and his recent experience fighting at a higher level will be the deciding factor against Rocky Fielding
It is the Merseyside derby with a twist as two Liverpudlians in Callum Smith and Rocky Fielding go head-to-head on Saturday night looking to claim their hometown bragging rights and earn a place in the elite of the Super Middleweight division.
The Echo Arena is the setting, with the vacant British super middleweight title a prize worthy of the occasion.
Up-and-coming Callum Smith seems to be attracting the majority of attention in the run up to the local bout.
The 25-year-old was part of Team GB as an amateur and has enjoyed a very impressive professional career to date under the guidance of Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.
Last time out ‘Mundo’ put on a very impressive display against Frenchman Christopher Rebrasse, who had given George Groves a tricky fight in his previous encounter.
Smith has raced to 17-0 with a 71 per cent KO ratio which has resulted in the Englishman shooting up the world super middleweight ranking to number 10.
However, it is fair to say that Smith now faces the toughest fight of his career so far in Rocky Fielding.
Fielding certainly boasts similar credentials to his rival, including an unbeaten record at 21-0.
The 28-year-old does not quite have the same power of Smith - with just a KO ratio of 57 per cent - but his fight against Brian Vera in June showed that he can still cause damage having blasted the American away in just two rounds.
However, the contest could well prove to be a tighter match-up than the odds suggest.
For starters, Fielding is the more experienced of the pair having started his professional career two years earlier and taken part in four more bouts than his opponent.
The 28-year-old can also take heart from the fact that Smith’s destructive KO streak has been put on halt of late, having been unable to finish off either Rebrasse or Nikola Sjekloca during two of his three most recent fights.
After achieving a stunning KO win against Brian Vera, Fielding will be confident of pulling off an upset, and is 9/2 to win inside 12 rounds on Saturday.
On the other hand, the pressure is all on hot prospect Callum Smith.
The 25-year-old has earned much attention for his power, which were showcased when he blasted Olegs Fedotovs out in just 96 seconds - two months after the Latvian had beaten Fielding on points.
Smith is certainly a ferocious puncher and is 10/11 to earn a KO win.
Yet it is Smith’s superior technique and ability rather than his brute force that could ultimately prove the difference.
His time with Team GB helped to develop his raw talent into finely-tuned skill which came to the fore in his most recent fight which represented a step up in class.
On that occasion, Smith kept Rebrasse on the end of his long jab while slowly breaking down his threat.
Facing a similar opponent on Saturday, Smith will likely look to adopt the same tactic and is 7/4 to prevail on points by the final bell.