This Saturday night Liverpudlian Rocky Fielding (26-1, 14KOs) travels to the city of Offenburg in Germany to take on undefeated WBA super-middleweight champion Tyron Zeuge (22-0-1, 12KOs) at the Baden-Arena.
After millions of fans witnessed England crash out of the World Cup semi-final at the hands of Croatia on Wednesday night, Rocky will be hoping to put a smile back on the faces of the nations boxing purists with a win against the old enemy.
Enland will face the dreaded 3rd/ 4th play-off match against the other beaten semi-finalists Belgium at 3PM on Saturday afternoon before Rocky Fielding makes his way to the ring in Germany. Irrespective of the result in the football our nation will take to he streets in their thousands to greet our players off the plane as hero’s.
Unfortunately boxing doesn’t quite have the same pull as the countries leading sport but there has been an unbelievable resurgence in the noble art. Thousands have been in attendance to back our unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and football stadiums have continued to sell out for our local boxers.
The 30-year-old Merseysider will not get the same reception if he were to step off the plane with the WBA title in hand but a victory will live long in the memory for him, his team, his fans and for British boxing.
It’s a massive night for Fielding and a defining one for his career. His only defeat came at the hands of World Boxing Super Series finalist Callum Smith who devastated his fellow scouser with a first round knockout.
Since that harrowing defeat in 2015 Rocky had steadied the ship and picked up decent scalps with wins over Christopher Rebrasse, John Ryder and David Brophy.
Tyron Zeuge offers a sterner test then Rocky’s recent opposition. The German is 4-years younger with only one slip up when he drew with Italian Giovanni De Carolis back in 2016 only to win a close rematch by a knockout in the twelfth.
Zeuge has a decent resumé with victories over some accomplished fighters in Montenegrin Nikola Sjekloca, Nigerian Isaac Ekpo (twice), Englishman Paul Smith.
WBA champion Zeuge is a few inches shorter then 6’1” Rocky Fielding who has fought four more bouts then the German (27). The Berlin born fighter has accumulated 36 more rounds (159) but they share a 52% knockout ratio.
On paper there isn’t much to choose between the two fighters but in reality Zeuge will be the favourite. Especially when it comes to an Englishman fighting in Germany. Now I am not suggesting that there is any corruption involved but the chances of a close decision going Fielding’s way are very slim.
Look no further than Martin Murray who lost controversial world title fights to Felix Sturm and Arthur Abraham, while Paul Smith was beaten by Zeuge last year and also ended up on the wrong end of two decisions against Abraham, while Matthew Macklin suffered a split decision loss to Sturm.
History suggests that this fight will only go one way but as the England team did in the World Cup he will need to create his own history if he is to be successful.
With all the controversial results of the past put to one side there is no denying that Zeuge has the ability to trouble Fielding. Being a fighter in his mid-twenties indicates that he is not near his best yet and will continue to develop. Fielding on the other hand has the experience but at only 30 is by no means over the hill.
I would love to see Rocky pull of a shock here and get the victory on points but I cannot see that happening. The only way the Englishman is able to walk away with the WBA strap is if he knocks Zeuge out. The German has not yet hit the canvas in his professional career but Rocky once tipped for stardom will need to produce the performance of his life.
My Prediction is a Tyron Zeuge points win but I will be routing for our Englishman to prove me wrong. Good Luck Rocky Fielding!