Callum Smith vs. Rocky Fielding in Matchroom Boxing Scouse Showdown


Both men are on their own path to different world titles but, in the land where boxing dreams are made, they will one day meet, in a Scouse super-middleweight unification match at either Anfield or Goodison Park.

Or failing that, just a good old fashioned domestic grudge match at the Echo Arena, where they were on Friday night.

Callum Smith is a fighter plagued by comparison. If it is not his brother Paul, it is the likes of George Groves or James Degale who are all, at the minute, far more advanced with their careers.

Expectation for the tall Scouser is his only problem. Eddie Hearn doesn’t want Smith to try and run before he can walk, yet his fans are calling for a race.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Callum Smith and Christopher Rebrasse during their WBC Silver Super Middleweight Championship contest at the Echo Arena on June 26, 2015 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)

Those that rate him claim he could be a world champion now, those that don’t, claim he will never be and his critics denounce his lethal fighting style despite it often working.

Many claim he shouldn’t go to the body as often, yet he dropped Christopher Rebrasse with a chopping body shot in the 10th round in their last fight and that still was not enough to silence the doubters.

Not every boxer is a head hunting knock-out merchant like Gennady Golovkin or Deontay Wilder. Smith plays the long game. His viscous body blows slow opponents down, take the wind out of them and create a fear that they will receive yet more crippling shots to the midsection. This forces them to lower their guard and creates the opportunities to go to the head.

People who claim this style is out-dated are forgetting that Smith is only 25-years-old and has plenty of time to learn new methods and techniques of fighting.

Rebrasse was a tough, cagey fight anyway and Smith wasn’t here to entertain. He was here to win. Although restricted to fighting on the back foot, the Liverpool lad never looked worried, even if he did take a couple of needless hits to the head.

After edging most of the earlier rounds, and getting the knock-down, a unanimous points decision for Smith was never in doubt.

At 6’3″ he should use his range more effectively, but he is still winning nonetheless.

Then you have the explosive Rocky Fielding.

It is a testament to his character that he has repeatedly refused to be drawn into making statements about Paul Smith’s failing to make weight against Andre Ward, despite Smith criticising Fielding for coming in over weight in the past.

Rocky from Stocky does his talking in the ring.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Rocky Fielding and Bryan Vera during their WBC International Super Middleweight Championship contest at the Echo Arena on June 26, 2015 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)

He is an aggressive fighter, throwing a lot of three and four punch combinations. This culminated in a fantastic first round uppercut that sent the off balance Brian Vera to the canvass.

A controversial second round saw the pair grapple and in the chaotic three seconds that ensued: Vera fell to the mat, flashed to his feet trying to fight on, didn’t protect himself and whilst the referee dilly-dallied over a ten count, Vera was clocked with a left hook from Fielding and was folded to the floor.

It’s a fight. These things happen.

In getting up, once again, Vera showed he had the heart to win, but Fielding, 27, showed killer instinct as his power punches rained down and the match was drawn to a halt.

“Styles make fights” as the saying goes and for too long have we seen the same old styles pitted against each other: the power puncher who wins by knock-out vs the slick outside boxer who wins on points.

But these two are both good all-round fighters and with every fight their defence improves and the variety in the punches increases.

It is a shame some boxing fans are reluctant to respect good fighters, just because they may not be seen as the best in the division. It is as though if they are not Ring Magazine champion, they are a bum.

Which couldn’t be further from the case. It is fights like these that keep the sport alive. Not two elderly millionaires getting yet another payday in a tame hype job that leaves you completely dissatisfied.

Two young, hungry fighters, vying to be the best or even worse, risking their ever so marketable undefeated record.

Two lads who enter the ring knowing that winner is on the verge of stardom, whilst the loser faces an uncertain future of domestic matches and possibly years of rebuilding their career.

Truly an all or nothing fight.

Whilst both are so raw in their talent, if the bout were to take place next week, you have to feel Fielding’s power and improved footwork might just edge it.

However, if over the next year or two, Smith uses the experience he has gained wisely and uses his speed and accuracy to his advantage, he could take a decision.

And whilst some of use sit in our room dreaming of this match, Matchroom could make this dream a reality. We just want to know if and when…


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