The problems Fielding must overcome
The problems that Fielding must overcome to shock the world
WHAT will Rocky Fielding be thinking right now, with his fight against Canelo Alvarez just days away? He will be consumed with Canelo, but so too will his team.
That team must do their best to limit what Fielding can see and hear from outside sources. You don’t want your boxer constantly reading stories and watching newscasters claiming they have little or no chance of winning the fight.
Positivity from your circle is key. It’s very much a psychological game and you need people around you who know how to filter the positives and the negatives.
The wait in the dressing room before any fight, especially one of this magnitude, can be the worst place in the world to be, especially for a fighter who is experiencing doubts. The only way to overcome those feelings is to be as mentally and physically prepared as possible.
A supremely fit and ready boxer can always fall back on the idea that they put the necessary work in the gym in preparation for this moment. When you sit there in that room and contemplate what is about to happen, it is imperative that you are able to honestly tell yourself that you pushed yourself to the limit in advance. A physically underprepared boxer has left a hole in his psyche that doubt will try to penetrate.
From my experience, often the best moments are in the ring right before the opening bell because at that point it is as real as it gets. In those moments you have reached the proverbial point of no return as your mind clicks into a new gear, one that leaves you no choice but to jump in head first.
Looking out at that live crowd looking back at you, it becomes very clear that reality is upon you and all your truths and lies are about to come flooding out into the light.
And then the fight starts. You quickly realise things about your opponent that you could not possibly have realised before. As a fighter myself who has faced similar situations, I can say that mentally and spiritually I have reacted with different levels of strength or weakness. When I fought Henry Maske for the IBF light-heavyweight title in Germany, for example, I knew going in that he was a great and accomplished boxer. But I didn’t realise until I got in the ring with him how unusually tall he was and how well he could use that height. It all became mentally draining, particularly when surrounded by 14,000 of his fans, family and friends in the audience cheering him on.
Every move of his was greeted with intense cheers yet even when I landed punches there was nothing. Part of what drives a fighter is the audible responses to his good punches launched in the ring but it’s hard to gain strength from no one positively reacting to them.
That was the first time in my entire career where the only people in the arena who wanted me to win were the three people in my corner.
In fights like this, a trainer’s job is not just to get the man ready to throw punches. Jamie Moore will be called upon at different points before and during the fight to keep things upbeat and to keep his man zeroed in on the task at hand. A trainer may go through several fights in succession where certain skills are not needed but there is always the chance in a fight of this magnitude that his ability to reach his fighter and keep him upbeat and positive will be required more so than ever. On that end, Jamie’s corner work on fight night will be just as important as his gym work in the previous weeks.
Ultimately it will come down to the fighter being able to fight his fight and utilise the strengths that got him to this point.
‘YOUR TRUTHS AND LIES WILL COME FLOODING OUT’
ROCKY ROAD: But if Fielding believes in himself, he has a chance