Fielding doubts Smith Jnr can beat Abraham, eyes summer Mersey showdown

Phil Jay 13/12/2014

Undefeated super-middleweight Rocky Fielding is set to return to action next spring following a spell on the sidelines with injury and already has his crosshairs focused on a massive all-Liverpool battle.

The 27 year-old last fought when stopping Noe Gonzalez in five rounds at the Echo Arena in his home city, although troublesome hand problems have meant Fielding has been forced to miss the rest of 2014.

A potential derby clash with Paul Smith Jnr was the talk of the town prior to Fielding suffering his injury, but ‘Rocky from Stocky’ aims to put himself firmly back in the mix for that fight when he features on Kell Brook’s maiden defence of the IBF welterweight title next year.

During Fielding’s time away, Smith moved further ahead of his compatriot with a game effort in losing to world champion Arthur Abraham in Germany last September, which has subsequently earned ‘Smigga’ another opportunity to win the WBO belt in Berlin on February 21.

Fielding is unsure of the reasons why Smith was able to secure a rematch with Abraham though after witnessing their first meeting in the autumn, and says whatever happens this time around he intends to be the next in line to face the two-time British title holder.

“I thought Smith’s first fight was just like a sparring session for Abraham,” Fielding explained to World Boxing News on Saturday.

“Smith did well and had he had a go, but didn’t do enough because you’re not going to get points win over there are you?

“I don’t think he deserves a rematch like as he lost the first fight end of, but he’s got a second chance to try put it right – I doubt it though. Smith is the one who has got to travel as Abraham is the big draw over there and there is no way the champion is coming here to fight, which makes it harder for him.

“I think this next fight Abraham is going to try harder and step it up from round one. I think Abraham will put it on Smith and probably stop him in end. Win, lose or draw though I would like to fight Smith in 2015. Hopefully we can get it on in summer time and I am on Eddie (Hearn) now to try make the fight so I hope he does.

“We could even fight him for British title, but I don’t care if it’s for nothing – I am not assed. It’s a big fight for the city and everyone wants to see it – so I hope he will take it.

“I am focusing on getting back fighting on March 7 in an eight-rounder on the Kell Brook undercard, but then I’ll be out in April for a big fight in Liverpool,” he added.

At 19-0 with 11 stoppages, Fielding is on the periphery of high-profile domestic bouts with the likes of James DeGale and George Groves, so putting him in for big Merseyside clashes with Smith, or even his brother Callum, may well be on Hearn’s mind for the coming year.

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