Rocky Fielding has told ESPN he found out about his fight with world middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez while he was putting his one-month-old daughter to bed.
WBA super middleweight champion Fielding faces Alvarez on Dec.15 at Madison Square Garden, in a fight that came out of the blue when it was announced in October.
Fielding was preparing for a December date following his victory over the previously undefeated Tyron Zeuge in July, but was anticipating meeting British rivals James DeGale or Chris Eubank Jr.
But that all changed after a phone call from trainer Jamie Moore, which said that Alvarez had chosen the Englishman to be his first opponent since defeating Gennady Golovkin in September.
“I’d been in the gym training and that night I was settling into bed with my girl and Jamie’s called,” Fielding told ESPN.
“She was doing the night feed and I was thinking it must be for sparring or what time the gym is open in the morning, so I answered.
“He said ‘You’ve got to keep it quiet but Canelo wants to fight you’. I was like ‘Yeah?’ He said ‘Yeah.’ ‘What weight?’ ‘Well your weight.’ I said ‘Cool no problem, that’s all I need to know.’ I didn’t even ask about the money or anything.
“And that was it. It was 9:30 at night and I was thinking ‘How am I going to go to sleep now?’ I said to my girl ‘Here you are, I’ll do the night feed now.’ I was so excited then.”
The attraction of fighting at the famous Madison Square Garden in New York is part of the appeal for Fielding, who enters the bout as the huge underdog and still wasn’t sure if it was all a joke when he arrived at the gym the next morning.
“Jamie and [coach] Nigel [Travis] were in and they both had a little smirk,” Fielding said. “I had a little doubt thinking ‘is he messing here?’ Then they said ‘No, it’s serious’ and from there I was just switched on training-wise.
“I’d finished training and had a message from [promoter] Eddie Hearn. I said ‘Yeah, I’m up for it. Where is it going to be? He said ‘Madison Square Garden, December 15’ and I was just like ‘Wow.’
“And that was it. I didn’t know purse-wise how much it would be or anything, I just wanted to know what the date was and where it was. I knew who it was so it was just about ‘Let’s get to work.'”